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Friday, July 16, 2010

Sticky Wicket under New Management

A local group, including DSC Promotions and Barracuda FC, will re-launch Sticky Wicket, which was once a part of Allen Stanford’s local empire, on July 28.

Operations at the gateway of VC Bird International Airport closed in early February after Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) suppressed electricity, Internet and water supply, owing to a bill that reportedly added up to $7 million for the restaurant and nearby Athletic Club.

Interests representing the one-time investor later said government owed Stanford Development Company (SDC) more than $11 million for Antigua & Barbuda Sales Tax returns.

One of the new principals of Sticky Wicket, Neil Cochrane, said a deal had been brokered between SDC and APUA, through which the utility services were restored.

In any event, the new managers are not concerning themselves with the politics surrounding neither Stanford, who is in a Texas jail awaiting trial for fraud and multiple violations of US securities law relating to an alleged $8 billion massive Ponzi scheme, nor the impasse between government and people representing him.

“We jumped at this opportunity because we think it is an excellent opportunity. Sticky Wicket has a strong brand name, it has high praise and a good reputation, and we see opportunities to expand on that, including the events capacity,” Cochrane said.

In addition to the restaurant, the lease arrangement also sees the group taking charge of the field, which will become the home of the Barracudas, Antigua’s only professional football team, which is part of the USL First Division.

Specific plans are under wraps for now, Cochrane said, but he noted that some of the old staff would be rehired.

As for the menu and ambiance, both will be tweaked “for a little more West Indian spice,” Cochrane added.

Asked about walking in Stanford’s shoes where standards are concerned, Cochrane said his outfit is up to the task.

“They are big shoes to fill but we are certainly able. DSC is also credited with excellence. With this venture, we have good synergy and the same high standards, even if we have less money than Stanford had, Cochrane said.

He pledged that the new operators would “maintain and actually enhance the establishment.”

1 comment:

  1. Cochran might not want to concern himself with the politics surrounding the Sticky Wicket, the government and Stanford. But there are a lot of people who will see this as another example of the government sticking two fingers up to Stanford's victims.

    Mr Cochran had better hope that local people will be visiting his restaurant because I have a feeling overseas visitors will not be!