The Diario reports that the landmark Golden Gate (or “Grand Cafe”) may have its days numbered, at least in its current form. The future will depend on the administrators of Santolido, the company that operates the cafe and restaurant – whilst the insolvency of Santolido itself is irreversible, options are being considered to safeguard the interests of the employees.The Golden Gate itself will almost certainly attract interest as a viable investment, and hopefully the administrators will act quickly to protect the future of the workers. There are also reports that the ‘Yacht Bar’ on the Estrada Monumental is in difficulty. The hospitality union believes about 20 workers are affected across the two units.
As one business runs into trouble in these still uncertain economic times, others are brave enough to start up. Saudade Madeira opened two days ago and claims to bring a new concept to the city – in the same space there are crafts, confectionery, wine and many other products including embroidery, sculptures and paintings together with a cafe. Apparently all the artists and artisans involved are Madeiran or live here – at this stage, there are about two dozen designers with products in the store, at Rua João Gago, just behind the Cathedral. Alberto João Jardim (not one to miss a chance) presided over the inauguration and praised the “new concept” of the establishment, and the wise choice of location. https://www.facebook.com/saudademadeira
Paraglider lucky escape!
A man who was paragliding over Câmara de Lobos yesterday afternoon became tangled on a cable that crosses the bay. Fire-fighters were immediately called to scene, together with the PSP, in a rescue operation that was coordinated by the Maritime Police. The paraglider had earlier taken off from Praia Formosa on one of the (noisy!) gasoline powered “paratrikes”. Fire-fighters lowered the cable to a fishing vessel where the man was taken on-board with only a slight wound to the lip.
The rescue operation incident created a lot of attention locally – at the moment there is some great live video footage here: http://tinyurl.com/oqb6zf6
Madeira Wine Rally
The Madeira Wine Rally is taking place this weekend. Organised by Clube Sport Madeira, it is one of the most important races of the European Championship and is the largest racing event in the Region. More information: www.ralivm.com
Golden Gate update Sunday 3rd August
The Golden Gate cafe is reported to have closed its doors today due to the insolvency of the company that operates the cafe and restaurant. “This is an inexplicable situation for an establishment over a century old and no one can understand how you get to this point of insolvency, because it is certainly not the turnover and can only be through mismanagement” said Adolfo Lusa Freitas of the union Trabalhadores da Hotelaria e Similares da Madeira. “We’re not sure the value of the debts of the company, but it is certainly several tens of thousands of euros, and a meeting of creditors is scheduled for September 15 in the Judicial Court of Funchal”. The union leader stressed that the premises where the ‘Golden Gate’ operated is owned by Banco Comercial Portuguese (BCP), which holds the rent arrears owed by Santolido”.
Golden Gate update Monday 4th August
The Diario is reporting today that the ‘Golden Gate’ has closed due to debts involving a total of EUR 46.7 million. It is one of two insolvencies within two weeks involving the entrepreneur Luis Camacho, said the head of the union Sindicato do Trabalhadores da Hotelaria e Similares, Adolfo Freitas. He also explained that “Hotel Mar” (Eden Mar?) also became insolvent, but the workers were integrated into another company [Hotéis Madeira Managers] which guaranteed them all their rights, except seniority. “Unfortunately, the company (Santolido) encompassed the catering establishments ‘Golden Gate’ and ‘Yachts Bar’, and workers were not so lucky due to the debt of Mr. Luis Camacho, who failed to pay the rentals and other creditors”, said the union leader. He added that “as a whole, the accumulated debts that these two companies total EUR 46.7 million”. Luis Camacho declined to comment on the situation, stating only that the closure was “a court decision that declared insolvency of the company”.
Editors note: Clarification 21.8.14 – It has been subsequently established that the “Hotel Mar” referred to in the newspaper above is definitely not the Eden Mar – thanks to readers for clarifying this! Apologies if the blog has impugned the reputation of this sucessful hotel in any way.