Canadian reopening Bert’s Bar
Businessman Eugene Melnyk is not closing down his operations here in Barbados.
Speculation was rife that the Canadian, who has lived here since 1991, was winding down his businesses following the abrupt closure of his popular Bert’s Bar at Worthing, Christ Church.
However, Melnyk, who also owns Providence School, a private educational institution in St George, said he was not going anywhere.
“I am not leaving the island – Bert’s Bar is reopening,” he assured during an interview with the Sunday Sun.
Last month, six of his former employees publicly complained they were sent home with only a week’s pay and informed the sports bar and restaurant would be reopening in October, but it never did.
They said they were told 140 flying fish, among other items, were missing and the bar was closing for renovations.
Melnyk said it was true items had been stolen, including cash, but said Bert’s Bar would reopen for the winter season and that staff who were sent home would be rehired.
“There is nobody there to manage. I am now trying to arrange things to get somebody in there like a partner. Renovations are taking place because some areas have termites. We are also changing the food menu. It’s been the same thing for 30 years. We had delays because of the rain, but we are going to restock and the menu will shrink.”
Melnyk, who had liver transplant surgery in 2015, said he was concerned about Barbados’ economic troubles, adding he had faith the economy would bounce back.
“In 1991 it was no different. Barbados always bounces back. I think we are going to be in for a little bit of tough times, but we are still one of the few islands left that is really nice. I am confident we will come up. You have to hit the bottom and then bounce off. Are we at the bottom? I don’t know,” he said.
The 58-year-old horse breeder and pharmaceutical developer, reportedly one of the wealthiest men in Canada, said he was still promoting the island to tourists.
“I’ve reached out several times to Mr Sealy, the tourism minister. I try to promote Barbados a lot in Canada. We also have a Bert’s Bar in Ottawa in the stadium. I have been promoting Barbados since I first came in 1982.”
However, he expressed concern about the state of the roads.
“I love Barbados,” he gushed. “I don’t know anything other than Barbados. My ex-wife came here a year before I did,” said the father of two, Anna and Olivia, who also live here. (MB)