Bar opens amid controversy

“A Gruta” officially reopens

Both local newspapers report on the on the mayor of Funchal, Paulo Cafôfo, and other municipal executives attending the official opening of the bar/restaurant “A Gruta”. “The Cave” has acually been open for a week or so as reported here, and is located next to the Sá Carneiro roundabout, at the bottom of Santa Catarina Park.
The mayor highlighted the commitment of the executives of Câmara Municipal do Funchal to reopening spaces of the city that were closed, alluding to the cases of the Lido Bathing Complex, Cais do Carvão and, now, the grotto of the Santa Catarina Park.
Paulo Cafôfo praised “all those who worked hard to make this project a reality.” “What is a dream come true for many people, including myself, that when I arrived at the Câmara I thought it was a waste to have a space like this allocated to the services of the city, because it had a memory as an iconic space of the city of Funchal. I remember, as a kid, to travel around here, and see the tourists and the residents in this space of contemplation, which brings us closer to the world and the news that the sea brings us”, he said.

The cave was reopened by means of a tender which was won by business owners Brito Figueira and Alexandre Costa, owners of other establishments such as Chalet Vicente, o Abrigo do Pastor in Camacha, and the Prince Albert. Brito Figueira, speaking at the inauguration, thanked the “multidisciplinary team” that has been with them for years.
The inauguration last night received dozens of guests, among them the Bishop of Funchal, Mr. Nuno Brás, but the absences were also noted. There was no representation of the Regional Government and no opposition councillors were seen, allegedly because the Funchal City Council did not invite them. The omission raised criticism from a PSD councillor, who accused the municipality of “preventing the presence of other representatives of the Regional Government and even the PSD councillors,” in what he considered to be a demonstration of “a clear democratic deficit”. At the end of the event, the journalists wanted to get a reaction from Paulo Cafôfo to this case, but the mayor would not comment.

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