food court operators at super centre warrens upset over news that they have to move out
by Emmanuel Joseph
The restaurant operators who occupy the Super Centre Food Court at Warrens, may have to seek alternative accommodation by the end of April.
Barbados TODAY was reliably informed this afternoon that while the tenants have not been formally notified, preliminary discussions have already been held with some of them regarding such a proposal, which could put about 25 employees on the “bread line”.
Super Centre management said its plans for the facility were part of a wider review, but the company was not ready to make any announcements, because all of the tenants in the Warrens mall had not been officially informed.
However, some restaurant owners told this newspaper they had been given until the end of April to cease business and move out so that the complex could be renovated.
“DaCosta Manning (at Warrens) will move in here. The bank (CIBC/FirstCaribbean) will move out over to where DaCosta Manning is now. Sure Pay and Wireless World (inside Super Centre Supermarket) will move into the mall upstairs. †They want to make it into a mega store,” one business owner revealed.
A least two of the five restaurant operators lamented that, with the pending closure of their businesses, they stand to lose more than $200,000 in investment combined, and about 13 workers.
“I spent so much money in this business, especially to upgrade it and now I will not get back any; I will lose all of that investment,” complained the food court tenant.
She said all of her equipment and raw materials have to be imported, which meant she now had to order month by month and could not stock up as before.
“It is hard, it is hard. My house is too small to put all this equipment, once the business is closed,” pointed out the store owner.
Another business owner was of the view that the restaurants were being targeted because they were competing with the Super Centre deli downstairs.
“Barbadians have to wake up and support their own and stop letting overseas companies come in and take over the local businesses. When the shares go on the market, Barbadians must buy, rather than turning them over to foreign interests. We must realise when we surrender our interests to overseas companies, we are sacrificing the jobs of Barbadians,” warned a concerned store operator.
“We had been told they were going to put two or three displaced restaurants over by the nearby gymn, but now that is not going to happen,” a source told Barbados TODAY.
It is understood that the retail shops in the Super Centre mall would not be affected by the proposed move.†[email protected]†††