At a time when some restaurants have closed and others are reporting reduced patronage, a local hotel is about to open a new eatery. Divi Southwinds Beach Resort has scheduled a “soft” opening for its Pureocean Beachside Dining operation on February 17, and general manager Alvin Jemmott was excited about its prospects. Work on the restaurant was continuing last week as Jemmott, Divi executive chef Henderson Butcher and other officials made a site visit to see how construction was progressing. Located on the beachside of St Lawrence Gap, Christ church, it will feature buffet style dining. In a previous interview, Jemmott had predicted that Pureocean, which will offer all-day dining, would be an “active” location offering a friendly, casual atmosphere to the hotel’s guests, other visitors and Barbadians. “We have a pretty good local following here at Divi Southwinds and we are very popular for our Staycation – and believe it or not, locals like to enjoy the ocean as well, so they will be a target group for this restaurant brand as well,” he said. “This, however, will not be the gourmet-type setting . . . . We know that this is a difficult time for development and this was a decision we had to give careful consideration in trying to manage the difficult economic times and development at the same time, and in the end we made the conscious decision that we will proceed,” he said. Work on the restaurant started in August last year and it is expected to be fully operational before the end of the current winter season in April. Pureocean replaces Divi’s former Joslyn’s Beach Bar.