The entertainment scene in the Cayman Islands has been busy rebounding since the borders closed nearly 18 months ago and ahead of the reopening the entertainment product seems poised and ready for the influx of visitors.
Restaurants, bars and nightclubs have been coming up with innovative ways to entertain their guests, whilst competing for coveted dollars in the highly competitive environment that has emerged.
At venues across the world famous West Bay Road and in George Town - the Islands’ Capital - bands of all genres of music can be found plying their trade; delivering the obligatory two to three hour ‘sets’ that audiences have become familiar with on the Island of Grand Cayman.
Bevvy at the Palmar Hotel; formally known as the Margarittaville, is one of the hotspots that has been a steadfast purveyor of live music each and every Friday night. The venue has been a great spot for locals and residents to congregate around the sounds of some of the Islands’ best bands.
Backayard, which is also in the same complex and sits just adjacent to Bevvy, is also offering live music and their Wednesday night live jazz ensemble has been receiving great reviews.
Other venues offering LIVE Music include the Lodge, where acts have been delivering shows on Friday nights as well, in addition to a slew of jam nights and open mic events.
In George Town, establishments like Cabana and the Sandbar have been lighting up the Harbour with some great acts and varying degrees of success.
There also several Karaoke nights that have been growing in popularity such as Mango Tree on a Thursday night, The Office Bar and Lounge on Saturdays and Fidel Murphy’s on a Friday night.
A plethora of other activities including Boogie Nights at the Wharf on the last Friday of every month or the Full Moon Party at Tillies on the roof top; also on the last Friday of every month, have helped to keep residents entertained.
Supplementing these offerings are some relatively new bars such as the Back Room; a smoke lounge next door to Lonestar Bar and Grill and The Bird; a new sports bar in the Seven Mile Shops where food, drinks and a vibrant crowd come together to make for a great experience.
As the re-opening of our borders here in the Cayman Islands looms business owners say they are hoping we do not take two steps forward and two steps backward.
“We just hope that it’s not gonna result in another lockdown, otherwise what’s the purpose. If we are going to open up just to shut down even worse in the coming weeks and months ahead,” noted one owner whom the Caymanians Times spoke with on condition of anonymity.
He explained that the plan being considered by government includes some social distancing, restaurants moving tables apart, persons having to wear masks again and the limiting of the number of people gathered in certain locations.
The government has said that it intends to make the move to re-opening the borders as seamless as possible and has been courting public option on the matter, whilst encouraging the population to get vaccinated.
The current Minister for Tourism, the Honourable Kenneth Bryan has been on record stating, “We're shooting for a 75% to 80% vaccination rate for our citizens. That's been our target all along, but the closer we get to that target, the harder it seems to reach it," Bryan said.
"Some islands pulled the trigger too fast and had to backtrack," Bryan said. "The Cayman Islands government and the department of tourism developed a five-phase plan to ensure a safe and healthy experience for those working in the industry and our visitors.
"We want to be the one country that does not have to close after full reopening,” he added.
Airlines such as American Airlines have expressed interest in coming to the Cayman Islands but have also noted that there is not quite the demand from travellers yet.
Still, the airline is expected to resume some flight to the Cayman Islands in October.