A former mayor of Douglas has praised the ‘dignity’ of Bushy’s in the face of losing out in the battle for the right to run a beer tent on the Bottleneck car park during the TT.
Last month, Douglas Council awarded the new contract to Hooded Ram, after a tender process, meaning Bushy’s will no longer operate a beer tent there, despite having turned it into one of the top TT nightspots over the past 20 years.
On Wednesday, at the first full council meeting since that decision was made public, at one point it appeared that no member was going to refer to the issue.
But John Skinner, who was mayor of Douglas in 2016-17, referred to the minutes of the Environmental Services Committee meeting at which the decision was made to award the contract to Hooded Ram. He called on chairman Ritchie McNicholl to acknowledge the way Bushy’s and boss Martin Brunnschweiler had handled the matter.
Mr Skinner said: ‘Following the many and varied outbursts on social media, would the chairman agree that Mr Brunnschweiler and the Bushy’s brand have maintained dignity throughout the process?’
Mr McNicholl agreed, but also hinted at a relationship between Bushy’s and the council that had not always been harmonious.
He said: ‘He has been there 20 years and we have had issues – hasn’t everybody? – but we have always sorted them out amicably.
‘Good luck to him, wherever he goes.’
He added that he was looking forward to see what Hooded Ram would put on in the place of Bushy’s.
When the controversial decision was announced, Bushy’s said it had been ‘outbid’.
The committee’s minutes refer to an officer making clear to members they were ‘not obliged to accept the highest tender’.
However, the Isle of Man Examiner understands that Hooded Ram put in the higher bid and that the council also took into consideration long-term plans
Mr Brunnschweiler has confirmed talks have been ongoing with interested parties to find a new location for his beer tent.
Last week, the company’s Facebook page teased that an announcement would be made soon.
The council has stated the successful Hooded Ram tender proposal aimed to create a ‘festival feel’ and attract a wider audience with live music, including a Battle of the Bands competition, and artisan and street food outlets in a move to modernise the image of the TT festival.
Source: IOM Today