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TGI Fridays out, Buzo coming in

Shawn Cumberbatch

TGI Fridays out, Buzo coming in

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Almost one year after substantial financial losses caused the demise of international restaurant franchise T.G.I FRiDAYS in Barbados, another eatery with Trinidad and Tobago connections is attempting to better it.
BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY learnt last week that Buzo Osteria Italiana, a popular restaurant from the twin island republic that is headed by Italian executive chef Cristian Grini, would be occupying the 6 350 square feet of space at Hastings, Christ Church that formerly housed T.G.I and its more than 50 Barbadian employees.
Grini, who was in Barbados last week, confirmed the development, but said more details would be released within the next month.
However, sources said with local real estate company Terra Caribbean now offering the “Pavilion Restaurant” for rent at $25 000 a month plus value added tax and utility costs Buzo was preparing to be new tenant by year-end.
A number of Barbadians are expected to find employment at the new Italian restaurant and the company has already been inviting people here to submit applications for various jobs related to “food and customer service” via email.
“We are humble, ready to simply show you our love for food. . .and if you think you have the passion to share the daily work with us feel free to send your application. [It] will be a pleasure to have you part of our team,” the company said via Facebook.
In its rental offer for the Christ Church complex, Terra said the building was “move in ready” and that “the furnishings and equipment can be purchased”.
It was the end of August last year when T.G.I. closed its Barbados restaurant, with Trinidad and Tobago parent company Prestige Holdings Limited (PHL) blaming the closure on “local operating costs, increasing losses and the declining local economic climate”,
PHL, parent company of Prestige Restaurants Limited which directly operated T.G.I in Barbados, said the restaurant had financial losses from the time it opened in August 2007.
A few months ago PHL said the restaurant lost $2.4 million between January and August last year.