As new regulations aimed at curbing the spread of COVID come into effect, popular hot spots like Rum Point are winding down operations as the planned reopening of borders shifts to next year.
The decades-old business, in a post on its official Facebook page, advised customers that its last day of opening will be 3 Oct.
It is one of several local establishments now left contemplating next steps as government navigates the return of COVID-19 in the community. As of Wednesday, Cayman’s total number of locally transmitted cases stood at 28.
In a recent social media post, the popular North Side hot spot, echoing Premier Wayne Panton’s halted reopening announcement, said “‘We are taking a pause. See you when the island is fully open again”.
“Sadly, we will be closing for an extended period due to the continuing bleak outlook for the hospitality industry in the Cayman Islands. This will allow us to repair and improve the property after damage sustained by Hurricane Grace,” the post said.
It also thanked the staff and patrons for the support.
A spokesman for Rum Point said, there are currently 10 outstanding employees, down from 50 during pre-COVID times, all of whom have been working mostly weekends for over a year since the business was allowed to reopen, after the lockdown last year.
“Rum Point staff have shown passion and loyalty throughout these extremely tough times, and it is particularly sad that we are having to close despite their tremendous efforts,” it added.
The post has been shared 99 times and has garnered over 100 comments from residents and visitors who shared their disappointment over the closure.
One commenter wrote, “We love it there. Very sorry to hear this news. I’m sure it was a terribly difficult decision.”
Another post reads, “I am truly saddened to hear this news. We plan our return to Grand Cayman only to have to reschedule. We are scheduled for May and I pray the border will open by then. I don’t know how much longer Grand Cayman can continue keeping its borders closed and not have businesses close. It’s very sad”.
In addition to Rum Point, the Wharf Restaurant in George Town, has also announced that it will not be returning to normal operations.
Citing the recent border announcement as the reason for the decision, the Wharf, on its official Facebook page, said it will only be opening for specific events.
“It seems that there was never a thoughtful plan to reopen, our industry is dispensable, our livelihood and our businesses which are endemic to those islands are suddenly not Cayman kind anymore. We do not know what the future holds, and that is true for everything but now we sadly know that the future of our businesses it is bleak if there is any to contemplate,” the post said.
The post added it was “incredibly heartbreaking to know that there is not a hint of a plan to be able to cope with a virus that its here to stay forever, our industry is completely overlooked and made as a casualty, our hope were strongly in this reopening”.
The post has received nearly 50 comments and 39 shares.
One commenter lamented, “This is so sad. The world is in a terrible place right now. My husband and I got married and had our reception at The Wharf in June of 2008. We’ve been desperate to come back ever since but it doesn’t look like that will be in the cards for us anytime soon. You all are in my prayers!”
Those over at Tomfoodery Kitchen & Bar have shared that they are continuing to operate, but are feeling the pinch.
In a letter posted on its Facebook page, signed by Director and Managing Partner Jonathan Nunez and Chef and Partner Thomas Tennant, the restaurant restated its commitment to the community.
However, it too is facing a challenge.
“We want you to know that we will always do our part as a business while we are able. We want you to know while government and leadership take their time to figure things out, we are making our best efforts… while we can. We are not closing, but we can’t continue being who we love to be while in this environment. Please, find a way through the confusion and fear to make Cayman safe and economically sustainable for all of us that call it home,” the letter said.