Dart mum on plans for Deckers or Hyatt

| 27/04/2021 | 116 Comments
Markus Mueri and Neil Bryington

(CNS): Cayman’s largest landowner has still not revealed any specific plans for the derelict former Hyatt site, even as Deckers closes its doors, freeing up another piece of Dart property linking the old hotel site to Palm Heights, which although leased also belongs to the network of companies. Patrons bid farewell to the popular West Bay Road restaurant this past weekend as another local nightspot was lost as the country’s largest investor continues to re-shape the Seven Mile Beach area.

“Dart can confirm Deckers will be closing at the end of April 2021, upon the completion of its lease agreement,” officials told CNS this week after in response to inquiries about any plans the developer may have for these key properties, which stretch from the derelict Hyatt across to Seven Mile Beach. Dart said it is seeking another tenant for the restaurant but has not said what its long-term plans are for this stretch of property.

“The site between Deckers and Grand Pavilion, this area is part of Palm Heights hotel and further queries should be directed towards the operators of Palm Heights hotel,” officials from Dart said, even though the group owns the sites. “A number of proposals are being considered for the former Hyatt buildings, including engaging with third parties to re-energise the site as a creative centre,” the company added.

Deckers opened 25 years ago and the owners, Markus Mueri and Neil Bryington, announced last week on social media that the restaurant was closing because their lease was expiring. The site was acquired by Dart some time ago and Mueri told CNS at the closing weekend event on Saturday night that the name and all of the fixtures and fittings, including the famous red double-decker London bus that gives the restaurant its name, will be passed on to the landowner.

Mueri and Bryington will now focus on the two restaurants they run in Camana Bay, KARoo and Abacus, which they also lease from Dart. Abacus which was the first restaurant to open at Camana Bay in 2007.

While most of the staff have transferred to one of the other two restaurants, the house band that has played there since the doors opened, Hi Tide (Shane Allenger and Sean Hennings) is still looking for a new home. CNS understands that there are issues with live music in Dart’s town as a result of complaints from residents in the apartments, which limits the times and places where bands can perform.

Posting on the restaurant’s social media page on Sunday after the final night, the owners said their last three nights had been humbling as they said goodbye to the many faces and personalities and heard people’s stories about the restaurant.


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Category: Business, Food and Drink

Comments (116)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Karma is a bitch and Murphy is right behind her.

    It’s comical to hear the well-to-doers bitch and moan about harship, disenfranchisement and failures caused or at least associated with one particular person.

    Welcome to the reality of most people living in the Cayman Islands.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Seems like there’s four quasi blocks now in the Cayman Islands equally represented with divisiveness, – the new Govt, the PPM (opposition), Pro Dart and Anti Dart.

    There’s no way whatsoever that a commercial investor should have been permitted that kind of prominence in any Country or more especially a Country such as ours.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dart are one of the best things that ever happened to Cayman, what other millionaire built roads, bridges, parks, even a city. Even Caymanian millionaires didn’t put much back in the community, Mr Dart did a lot for Cayman, that’s a fact

      • Anonymous says:

        Delusional – everything mentioned is/was leverage for gain. Allow me a turn, public beach ruin, huge swaths of concrete creating climate change, destruction of the environment, parks used collaterally for concession handouts, and Caymanian millionaires not having a desire to recreate a sprawling utopia in their own vision affecting the whole population.

        At the very least the point of creating broad divisiveness has been augmented, thank you.

      • The Shadow says:

        It may be a fact to you, but it will become obvious that Dart is not interested in Caymanians unless they are a part of the brotherhood or rich. He is not interested in anything except wealth. When all the hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. are controlled by Mr.Dart, only rich folks will be able to use them. I you don’t believe this, just wait and see.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seconded

  3. Anonymous says:

    Boris wants his bus back I guess.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion, Dart has destroyed the Cayman Islands.
    They have lost all their charm and the locals have been totally disenfranchised by their Lodge overlord “bought and paid for” politicians.
    Wayne is no different. Nothing will change in Cayman except more pain for Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s all have a pity party for you because Caymanians have it so hard. Maybe you should move to Haiti or Dominican Republic or Jamaica or almost anywhere else in the Caribbean where the locals have it so much better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Put a name to it pal so we can revoke your WP; clearly one of the 24k.

        • Anonymous says:

          Haiti is yet to move here. But Jamaica and the Dominican Republic have come to service development, and the consequences are destroying Cayman. We were much better off culturally, socially, and for most, economically, before this latest wave of development and investment started.

        • Anonymous says:

          I come and go as I please. No need for a WP.

        • Anonymous says:

          Good luck with that, Mr. clearly one of the lazy and entitled malcontents.

    • Anonymous says:

      Utter drivel. Without foreign money Cayman would be no different to our neighbours in every direction.

      • Anonymous says:

        You came here after the 80’s, didn’t you. Oh my, where would we be without you?

        Hint: it was MUCH better and nothing like our neighbors.

        • Anonymous says:

          I starting visiting in the 70’s and it was much better for me as a tourist. Not so good for the locals, many of whom still lived in one room houses without screens.

          • Anonymous says:

            But if you ask the malcontents now, they thing the 70s were Shangri La. To tell you the truth, the early 80s weren’t much better. It was around the mid-80s, when the Hyatt opened and the US economy got past the early 80s recession that things started booming. But make no mistake at all – it was foreign money that made this place boom.

      • Anonymous says:

        St. Vincent without the volcano.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The Dart minions are getting wealthier and wealthier.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wish I knew how to become a Dart minion. I could use the cash.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not really. Ask around and there are only a handful of chosen inner circle making any money, and for all the BS they endure, probably not as much as you’d think. That employer has one of the highest employee turnovers on island. They treat their employees like tungsten sparklers, just pulling afresh one from the box when they flame out. Caymanian and permit holders alike.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Move the band to Abacus, there are no apartments around Abacus…

    • Anonymous says:

      Move the band to your restaurant

      • SSM345 says:

        Or don’t live in the middle of a town center and complain about noise when the sun goes down?

        You’d probably also complain about rugby on Saturdays when you build your house beside a rugby field?

        • Anonymous says:

          Or buy an apartment at the kimpton and complain about the music at calicos. Who would do that? At dart minion?

        • Anonymous says:

          Bit like living in a house in swamp land and complaining about mosquitoes every day.

          • Anonymous says:

            Bit like building a town in the middle of a swamp and complaining about natural odor.

            So the solution: tear down the mangroves and build more.

        • Slacker says:

          HAHA, I know exactly the people you are talking about. Whining about the playground at the Rugby pitch, the lights at the tennis club, the sign on the Squash Club… Caveat Emptor

    • Anonymous says:

      you mean apart from the two buildings of apartments above the ground floor shops less than 50m away?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Those who do nothing with their own lives hate those that do. Dart does BIG, Awesome, and well built structures and businesses which is why he is not liked here by the local population. They are too busy fawning over their own kingdom with its many Kings and Queens and reality show moments. Give unto Dart that which is Darts and try to be happy with what is still yours. And by all means use all your energy building animosity instead of functional schools and Government. It is what makes you happy.

    • Anonymous says:

      and you keep assuming that imposing big & grandiose from a singular selective perspective onto the will of the population is acceptable.

      allow me to correct that, ‘and unfortunately you’ve become subservient to your eminence into assuming…

      • Anonymous says:

        You keep assuming that your opinions represent the will of the people. They might represent the will of some people, but not the will of all people – and possibly not the will of most people.

        • Somebody Says says:

          Don’t bet on that “not the will of most people”!!! Dart is the biggest taker I have ever heard of! He has taken over the Cayman Islands!

          • Anonymous says:

            You missed the word “possibly.” Dart has given more to the Cayman community than all of the other greedy developers put together – and that includes ALL of the Caymanian developers who only give a crap about one thing – money.

            • Anonymous says:

              I think I’m correct in saying Dart is Caymanian and therefore would be inclusive of ‘All of the Caymanian Developers’ as per your statement ?

        • Anonymous says:

          You wan’t my opinion? I think Dart is the worst thing that ever happened to the Cayman Islands.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’ll concede the cut with semantics has some merit, but your end argument reached is incorrect based overwhelmingly on the expression throughout this comment thread

          • Anonymous says:

            This thread is hardly a random sample so extrapolating to draw conclusions about the population is completely invalid.

            • Anonymous says:

              Of course it’s a random sample, what else would it be besides a sample you don’t personally agree with.

              I can’t say for you but I’ve never heard of CNS canvassing readers to sway an opinion 🤦🏻‍♀️

    • Anonymous says:

      Another Dartbot strikes again…

      If Cayman is so bad and desolate, why doesn’t Dart cut all business ties from Cayman and sell everything?

      Clearly, something valuable is here. Special interests and snobbish attitudes like yours continue to pump millions of dollars into Cayman isle for their private never-ending ROI and P/E ratio quotas, instead of helping the majority of the local population.

      Equal share and no fanfare, a very straightforward concept.

      If you expect to cook in my kitchen on your terms, don’t be surprised when I ask for a plate of food or a glass of water.

    • Anonymous says:

      #bigly

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I guess our first mistake was not being born a privileged Billionaire with a colossal dynastic trust to our names. All the rest is rounding error.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bullshit! Dart is Cayman’s cancer.

  8. Anon says:

    Wow there some haters out there, whether directed at Dart to Neil and Marcus. I would suspect that you’ll see Deckers taken down and Palm Heights expand across the street. There was no reason to keep the bridge otherwise it was in need of substantial repairs. Good luck to the boys and I welcome more rooms to the island inventory,

    • Anonymous says:

      Crane the bridge out off SMB, it will serve better as an artificial reef.

      • Anonymous says:

        interesting, – and what would your thoughts be on the Sea To Shore overpass ?

      • Shacks Lacka says:

        Build a bridge from West Bay to Rum Point. That way the weekend drunk drivers can increase even more.

        By the way does anyone see a traffic stop by the pope any more.

        Would be nice to see one as this place vehicular speeds and accidents seem to grow and grow. Bring back the traffic five 0

  9. Anonymous says:

    Never did like the food or service.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I can’t be the only one who was surprised Dart’s mum had bought Deckers can I?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Dart, while waiting to decide what to do with the Hyatt site, for god’s sake, tear it down and put some grass and trees in the interim.

    • Anonymous says:

      He would love to but can’t because the problem is part of a lawsuit. Blame the slow moving justice system on this island and count yourself lucky your fortunes aren’t tied to getting anything to go through it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually the opposite: DART initiated the lawsuit against the innocent Brittannia owners, and they are fighting back in defence of their home equity. He wants to block their use of the hotel amenities that were a contractual obligation when they bought their units. Every unit was equipped with a wired hotline to the Hyatt front desk. DART likes to do that everywhere, buys a place, ignores duties and obligations of that land ownership, then seeks to change the rules to suit themselves. Suing and choking everyone out oppressively. I hope Brittannia wins and that there is a big reset in the DART culture, against all odds. PACT should be freezing all permissions until these landowners are dealt with fairly and honestly…ie. not via legal extortion.

        • Anonymous says:

          Memo to Britannia Owners: there will never be a hotel there for you. Bring your suit to trial and maybe you can recover something for the loss of amenity, but for God’s sake get it over with.

          • Anonyminniemouse says:

            The trial has already taken place just waiting on the judgement and also it wasn’t the Britannia Owners lawsuit they were the defendants because Dart sued them along with the Government.

      • Anonymous says:

        …..and why IS there a lawsuit?

  12. Anonymous says:

    You make it seem that Dart booted Deckers out. But Deckers was no longer viable.

    Since last July (when restaurants re-opened), Deckers was only open on Thursday to Saturday nights. I went there a few times on Thursdays the last six months for a drink, and it was pretty quiet. Saturdays a bit busier, but not by much. I went there for a couple Friday nights and there was a good crowd, but a restaurant/bar cant survive on 4 good hours a week.

    25 years is an EXCELLENT run for a restaurant/bar here or anywhere!

    • Wishing them luck says:

      Having the Abacus boys on board at Camana Bay as an anchor tenant while running a popular restaurant outside the wire was a conflict. Now they are fully assimilated I hope they are able to hold onto what they’ve joint ventured on with Dart. Going by what happened to other restaurants like Michael’s Genuine and Ortanique I hope they don’t end up in the Dart meat grinder.

      • Anonymous says:

        You have NO idea what you’re talking about. Seriously. No idea.

      • Anonymous says:

        You do realize that Dart waived rent for Ortanique and Michaels for a long time in order to assist them in becoming established and profitable. The restaurants were not good which is why they failed. Karoo and Abacus likely received the same deal when they first opened but are now successful because of who runs them and the quality that they offer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ortanique service was abysmal but I definitely thought MG was a fresh change from the typical fare offered a similar styled restaurants.

          • Anonymous says:

            Michaels went because of the franchise element from the US. Nothing to do with how sucessful it was.

            • Anonymous says:

              All restaurants in Camana Bay also have a 5yr plan; if you aren’t making the cheddar per your agreement with DART then you go bye-bye.

              That’s why they do the books for the restaurant as part of the lease.

            • Anonymous says:

              The food was great but the service in Michaels was invariably dire. I don’t think they got our bill right once.

              • Anonymous says:

                It’s the only restaurant in the world I ever walked out of after trying to get service for 45 minutes finally gave up and went to Abacus.

  13. John Ebanks says:

    Darts got a good track record with their restaurants – Tikki Beach closed, Surfside closed, Calico Jacks closed, Royal Palms Closed, Ice Bar closed, Cafe del sol closed, Michaels closed, Ortinique closed..not all their fault but…there is a theme.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ice Bar was not owned or bought by Dart – that was a hair-brained idea if ever I saw one!

      Actually, half of these have nothing to do with Dart.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dart was simply the landlord at most of them.

        • Anonymous says:

          Also other tenants that couldn’t make it Black Trumpet and vela at Camana bay and Hemingways and stingers, maragaritavillle at Emslie’s, and the one before Tillies!

          Anymore…?

        • Jon says:

          And Britannia restaurant and Mckeevaa and Dale’s beach bar…

      • I Bodden to it says:

        Tiki turned into event space for Seafire while Calico’s and RPBC were COVID casualties since most of their business was from cruise ship passengers.

        • Anonymous says:

          Total BS there I Bodden to it!! Calico’s was always rammed on the weekend when there were no cruise ships. Full of drunk Canadians. In fact, if you weren’t in your 20’s-30’s and not Canadian, good luck getting served. (I know at least 5 Canadians that drank all day or night and never got a bill over $25. FACT)
          As for RPBC, again, did swift business NOT when a cruise ship was in. especially on Sundays after brunch.

    • SSM345 says:

      DART has shut down the entire SMB corridor beachside in term s of bar / restaurants.

      Amazing how no one has complained yet. And public beach accesses don’t cut it when they are blocked, full after 2 people get there or have absolutely no amenties other than a bush or sea to sh*t in.

      No where to go, no access, no amenities. Glad all these twats enjoy the beach in a country they can’t find on a map.

      But he sure knows how to build hotels that non-millionaires have no chance of enjoying.

      • Anonymous says:

        True, they shut down Smokies too, right?

      • Anonymous says:

        He’s done a pretty good job buying up the SMB corridor. NOBODY paying attention to everything he’s bought up. And you’re right, not many places left that the average joe can go sit with a cocktail to watch the sunset.

        Seriously, how is nobody seeing the bigger picture??? It hurts my heart to see it happening and nothing me one can do about it.

        In fact, where is that diagram that Ezzard had back when Dart was shutting down that section of WB Road?? Showed how much Dart owned so far and it has doubled since then. (Was over 60% inc Little and the Brac)
        Nobody paying attention. Just lapping up the pretty buildings…

  14. Anonymous says:

    Dart shouldn’t be allowed to build anything until the Hyatt is dealt with.

  15. Anonymous says:

    How about Royal Palms, while we’re asking…crumbling wreck now.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean next to that place where your business associate beats up staff, and where the sea walls are built too close to the water?

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean the place where there was a hotel owned by prominent Caymanians that mysteriously burned down in the mid-80s and sat there for decades waiting for someone like Dart to come in an buy it for tens of millions of dollars?

      • Anonymous says:

        A beachfront hotel was owned by Caymanians? Wow! Who would have thunk such a thing was possible. Imagine the implications of an economy actually connected to its people!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nightclub?

  17. Boss Hogg. says:

    The food really went downhill over the years. I won’t miss it. I wish the new proprietorship all the best.

    • Anonymous says:

      Neither will the other 7 people who have been there in the past 10 years.

      • Anonymous says:

        It really catered to tourists. Since there haven’t been true tourists in more than a year and it doesn’t look like they’ll be coming back anytime soon, it didn’t make sense to keep going. Better to consolidate to where they have better local following (Abacus and Karoo). This was just a good business decision at the end of a lease. I wish Markus and Neil all the best – they’re good guys!

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