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More changes coming for Pitts Bay Road

Bouchee, the French bistro at 75 Pitts Bay Road (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The remaking of a commercial stretch of Pitts Bay Road in Pembroke continues apace.

The Outerbridge Building, at 75 Pitts Bay Road, has seen better days, prompting its owners to give the remaining tenants notice to vacate as they ponder the property’s future.

The latest news follows the announcement by West Hamilton Holdings Limited that the company has entered into an agreement and plan of merger with Princess West Limited, which will result in the sale of neighbouring properties 69 and 71 Pitts Bay Road.

West Hamilton had earlier received permission from the Department of Planning for construction of an eight-storey building on the latter property.

The Outerbridge Building houses the popular French bistro Bouchee, Bersalon Hair Salon and Day Spa, and two registered charities – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda and Bermuda Sloop Foundation.

All must be out of their current locations in the coming months.

Daina Outerbridge, a director of the company that owns the property, said: “The building is very old and past its sell-by date.

“We don’t know what we are going to do with it, right now.

“It has got to the point where we are not putting any more capital into the existing building.

“We are looking at and exploring different options.”

Sara Masters, who has owned Bouchee since 2012, said the restaurant must vacate by September 30.

She said: “We found out at the beginning of December. It was gut-wrenching but there is nothing we can do about it.”

Ms Masters has enlisted the help of an agent to find new space for the bistro in Hamilton or Pembroke.

She said: “We are looking for more or less the same size. I don’t want to be any bigger. If I end up in Hamilton, the price will be higher.”

Ms Masters added: “We are just going day by day.”

Patrina O’Connor-Paynter, the managing director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bermuda, said the charity has been given notice to vacate its premises by June 30.

But she remains grateful to the landlord, whose offer of space in January 2020 was most welcome – and is optimistic that a new location will be found.

Ms O’Connor-Paynter said: “We are very grateful to the landlord for allowing us to move into this space. We are looking for space and believing that we’ll be able to find something that meets our needs. Whatever is meant to be for us is going to work out.”

She said the Outerbridge Building office “served its purpose – we were able to launch new programmes and built relationships with people in this area. I am confident the space we move into will be just as good. I have that faith”.

The Bermuda Sloop Foundation, which has four offices and a boardroom in the Outerbridge Building, must also be out by June 30. The organisation moved in about two and a half years ago.

Robin Hamill, the chief executive, said: “We are definitely looking for space – we are in the market for probably 1,200 square feet. We would like to be in Hamilton as it is where most of our walk-in visitors come from.”

He added: “The Outerbridge Building has been very kind to us the last two and a half years.”

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Published March 20, 2023 at 8:11 am (Updated March 21, 2023 at 12:11 pm)

More changes coming for Pitts Bay Road

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