Government restaurant still shut, six months on
A government restaurant concession in Devonshire has been shut for more than six months with no explanation as to when it will reopen.
And the temporary liquor licence obtained so that the Government could at least provide beverages and recoup some revenue, appears to have expired as of April 1.
Members at the Ocean View Golf Course believe the Bermuda Government Consolidated Board of Trustees, who reopened the lounge and tried to at least keep the bar operating, forgot to renew the licence.
They said there had been no beverage service for about a week.
The entire restaurant, which is part of the public and tourism amenity at the Ocean View Golf Course, was abruptly closed after a visit from the Bermuda Police in the autumn.
In November, the trustees said they had taken vacant possession of the premises following a failed tenancy agreement.
Kim Swan, chairman of the board of trustees apologised to Parliament for the failure to offer bar and restaurant services at that time.
He reported to the House of Assembly that the public purse was owed money, complaints were received about the conduct of the persons illegally occupying the premises and the board of trustees had been misrepresented by one of their own – someone who was no longer a trustee.
He provided no detail when he said a matter had been referred to the Bermuda Police Service.
The roadside signs proudly proclaiming the establishment as Clubhouse Bar and Lounge – from the last tenancy – were removed.
The trustees took command of the bar operations, while waiting for a new food and beverage concessionaire to be put in place.
New roadside signs emerged, renaming the establishment The View Golf Lounge.
But weeks have turned into months and members and neighbourhood patrons are awaiting the return of the restaurant service.
And now, the bar service has also ended.
The trustees operation of the bar may have only been a temporary measure because restaurants typically need revenue from both the food and the beverage service.
The Government operates the restaurant separately from the nine-hole golf course, deriving a concession fee from the rental of the premises, including the bar, a kitchen and the lounge.
The outside facilities include partial views of the golf course from a deck that has spectacular North Shore ocean views, from Dockyard to St. George’s.
Among the questions put to the board chairman, MP Swan, was the issue of loss revenue.
The Government previously operated the food and beverage provisions at a collective loss from all government golf courses, but changed to a concession arrangement many years ago to improve the bottom line.
No questions about the future of the concession at OVGC had been answered by press time.