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Updated on July 5, 2020 11:46 am
Updated on July 5, 2020 11:46 am
Updated on July 5, 2020 11:46 am

Independent Restaurants & Bars Say Curfew, Liquor Protocols Hurting them

Operators of independent restaurants and bars say Saint Lucia’s current 9.00 pm to 5.00 am curfew and current protocols regarding the sale of liquor are hurting their business.

The operators met Friday to discuss their concerns.

Co-owner of the Buzz restaurant in Rodney Bay , Matthew Hartmann, said the meeting was intended to obtain feedback regarding the state of affairs due to the current COVID-19 situation.

Hartmann told St Lucia Times the restaurant and bar owners want to create a unified voice to project to the Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) or the government, to restart the restaurant and bar businesses.

Matthew Hartmann

“The current legislation does not allow for us to sell alcohol for consumption on the premises,” he observed.

The Saint Lucia businessman explained that for restaurants, serving liquor is an integral part of the dining process.

“People come in, they want to have food and they want to have a bottle of wine or a cocktail to go with their food,” Hartmann told St Lucia Times.

“Unfortunately, the current legislation does not allow us to do so,” he pointed out.

According to Hartmann, that effectively hamstrings an already severely hamstrung industry in that there are very few clients on Island, locally or otherwise s you know.

He expressed the view that those people are less likely to come out if they cannot have their traditional glass of wine with their steak or other food.

On the matter of the current curfew, Hartmann said some consideration needs to be given to restaurants to facilitate their dinner service.

He observed that most restaurants operate for dinner from between 6.00 to 10.00 pm.

“Staff get home for about 11.00 or 12.00 clock,” Hartmann explained.

But he lamented that under the current circumstances, the restaurants cannot open for dinner.

“We’d like the government – the powers that be, to have a look at that and perhaps relax those restrictions,” Hartmann told St Lucia Times.

He described the restaurant and bar industry as one of the most fiercely impacted industries.

The businessman stated that a lot of the staff, besides being front line , are also on the lower end of the socio-economic bracket, which means that they basically live ‘from pay cheque to pay cheque’.

“They live very modestly and they need that money – this Coronavirus pandemic has caused a situation where they cannot earn besides what the government has been able to do,” he asserted.

However he declared that unless the restaurants and bars open and are able to hire staff again, the monies they are being given by the government will run out.




  1. That’s very true, the prime minister of st Lucia, ONLY SEE HIS POCKETS GIVING FILLED. Forget about the small business owners, only large businesses can profit from it. THATS A SHAME.

    THE PRIME MINISTER of st Lucia, said that his opening up the country this pass week . For whom?? For his friends,family and foreigners.. I understand that the country needs to generate finance to move forward and all the rules are there in place of the pandemic.

    But work with me here,
    1 if the sulphur springs are close ?
    2 the local actives are closed ?
    3 the bars can’t serve liquor?
    4 the weekend night life is shut down why would a tourist came here to be quarantine for 2 weeks on hand when most of them came for a week? What’s the point? The point is they came for all those reasons pointed.

    My opinion ,he should have opened up the country the fellow st Lucia people first. Yes touristium is the social point of revenue for the country ,but the locals who are the ones to make this country moving. With them “the locals” how can they move forward? They and old saying ” CLEAN YOUR HOUSE FIRST BEFORE YOU LET ANYONE IN ,TAKE CARE OF YOUR BUSINESS FIRST BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE” in other words give the locals the rite to make wise and smart decisions, GOVERNMENT isn’t always rite. I was born in st Lucia and will ALWAYS be a st LUCIAN. Even though I left to take up residence in the USA. 25 YEARS AGO. but I always came down 2 -3 times a year. Just for the activities and festivities. I have been an American citizen for years now, and every time I came to my home land ,I met with” humm he from foreign ,he dosen’t know nothing here . 🤣 funny. What, because I dress different, speak different . At the airport they sometimes treat you like you dont belong here ,its only for the White people…When I head back to new York , CBP is like welcome home sir … have a good day… POINT IS treat people how ,you would want to be treated. OPEN UP THE COUNTRY FOR THE LOCALS FIRST. !! THANK YOU

  2. The PM, his family and friends don’t have a stake in the restaurants and bar industry thats why it hasn’t been opened yet. His family has a stake in katamaran tours so its only water activity available to tourists when they come here.

  3. Listen people all that is not called for I have a bar and I need it to function as before that closing at 6 pm doesn’t work for me .
    I am not interested is who has stake in what that has nothing to do with me I only want fairness to be an all around thing that all will benefit.

  4. Dinner service in restaurants needs to be considered as a separate issue. Government naturally does not wish to encourage groups of people standing close up in order to socialise whilst drinking at a bar. But, with social distancing protocols between tables and a practical timeframe to allow for comfort, what difference does it make to allow alcohol to be served to complement the dining experience for the seated diners? At least it gives restaurants a fighting chance to stay afloat until matters can improve.

  5. There are two services which the restaurants and bars could improve on:

    I have witnessed over and over these turn around services on the American TV shows which plaster our TV services 24/7, and their innovation and inspiration to perform other cash services is astounding!! St Lucian restaurant and bar owners really could take pages from these entrepreneurs to “take” our money, and more. They should be skilled in SPECIAL EVENTS – a HUGE Money Making Management Scheme.

    These people could create family outings on their property … and the list goes on!! Wake up and smell the coffee!! Stop the whining and crying … faire un bagay!

    • Armchair Anonymous it looks like you just like commenting. Did you just copy that from somewhere? What’s the relevance to the topic under consideration? Your attempt at a lecture on innovation/creativity and inspiration fell flat on its face. Please make sure that your textbook nonsense is relevant before posting it here.

    • I can understand everyone comments and situation.we are in a fight with a disease we can’t see.That fff business it on both sides some of us are to color blind. Chas open the country for business

  6. Government continues to use a nuclear weapon to kill a fly. We have no covid here why can’t we go about our lives? PM you’re making a big mistake listening to that inexperienced CMO it is going to hurt you and your party. Y’all are creating a storm in a tea cup. Big cities in the US opened up and did the cases increase No.

  7. I would imagine in situations like a global pandemic some sectors would be gravely affected. I can’t imagine any sector coming out unscathed. One would hope that governments would properly analyze any given situation and make decisions that hopefully would benefit the vast majority. Unfortunately not all would benefit.

    Some actions taken might be careless, reckless and ill timed. Unfortunately the only experience the world has in relation to this current pandemic is over 100 years (102 years to be exact).

    What the Spanish flu did reveal is:
    1. areas who implemented strict social distancing measures and limiting numbers of people congregating together recorded less deaths and bounced back faster economically.

    2. That there was a second wave, that was responsible for more deaths due to relaxed measures.

    What this proves is that some will win and some won’t, Unfortunately no government can address all sectors impacted. That is the sad reality.

    In my opinion, given that this is a global situation, you in your neck of the woods can’t really borrow from the ideas of other countries, because this situation is literally unfolding in real time. It is constantly changing. It appears that you can have plans for something based on current situation, and then that changes all of a sudden.

    I could imagine the number of transmissions as a result of the worldwide protests.

    This hurricane season has been predicted to be one of the worse in recent times. Can you imagine if this virus was not contained in SLU, what that would mean? I personally would not want to be in any emergency center an this corona virus is not contained. Imagine if it was out of control and you have to go in shelter.

  8. I agree with sit down dining accompanied with alcohol. Hours of curfew should be at least 10 pm to 5 am to accommodate an unrushed dining experience and still have time to get home.

  9. It’s very difficult to put a business together and to have it slow down at such a fast pace. Yes our businesses need to become innovative and I agree the curfew can be extended for the dinner rush. If you get to see the lasting effects of covid19 after it has ravaged an individuals body you will understand why social distancing is highly important. I am a frontline worker and I know that our healthcare system in St-Lucia will not be able to handle a true covid19 patient. I’m not bashing my country but we need technology to combat this virus, yes we may have staff such as our nurses, doctor and the healthcare professionals from Cuba. How many ICU beds Ecmo machines and ventilators do we have in St Lucia. At this time we need to be more patient with each other.

  10. ALDONA , I agree 100% it makes a lot of sense.
    ABIGAIL, I wish that everyone would understand – so sad the world is what it is today.

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