Changes coming at the Split

Posted By: Marty

Changes coming at the Split - 10/17/14 11:20 AM

Caye Caulker’s Split and The Lazy Lizard: An Exclusive Update

Excerpt from Lily at Sunshine and Stilettos

The Split encapsulates the spirit of being in the Jewel. It’s not just a plot of land splitting the island in two, or just a sandy corner with a crowded, funky beach bar. It’s about “going slow”–Belizean time–by the sea, throwing back a couple of Belikins at sunset while the music thumps, splashing about in the water with family and making new friends among locals and tourists.

It’s one of the most fun outdoor gathering spots and bars I’ve experienced to date in the Caribbean–even after the British Virgin Islands, Jamaica or Grenada, and other similar island escapes I’ve explored over the past 10 years. The current beach at The Split isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and the benches and setting are rustic. But the scenery, the people and the energy make it a good time. The Split is an experience. A Belizean experience.

So when I heard that physical changes were coming to my favorite island’s and Belize’s most famous spot–I was curious to find out about the new plans and the new management team taking over the hottest bar and sandy plot in Belize.

As fate would have it, our paths crossed in less than a week after I arrived last month, thanks to my good friend Stacy Badillo, who is a Caye Caulker native, a fierce enterpreneur who owns Purple Passion Beauty Studio and the dynamic Chairman of the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s branch on the island.

The new Split team has been forthcoming with me about their plans so I can accurately update MOON BELIZE. They also graciously answered my Belizean friends’ questions (born out of numerous, unfounded rumors swirling about the “new” Split), and listened to my humble Belize travel journalist-input about the culture here, Caye Caulker’s close community and the importance of The Split to the island and its residents first, then to Belizeans and to the country’s tourism. Of course, they were aware of it all and to my relief, in agreement.

General Manager James (“Jim”) Lynskey and his partners have 30 years of experience working in the hospitality, and food and beverage industries in the Caribbean and Central America. Jim moved to Nassau when he was just three years old, grew up in the Caribbean and has spent his years working in the area since the 1990s, from Costa Rica to Turks and Caicos.

Not surprisingly, Belize and The Split struck them as a unique spot in the region.

After speaking with the team, including meeting one-on-one, I was thrilled to learn of the positive changes coming to Caye Caulker’s and Belize’s magical corner.

The current Split and Lazy Lizard will officially change management hands as of November 1, 2014.

While wider renovations and a rebuilt Lazy Lizard are planned over the next six months–including a reclaimed wider, public beach–the first, smaller phase of changes will take place as early as next month.

Rather than close the area completely for months to rebuild the restaurant and build the seawall, the team has decided not to shut down for too long so near the start of the high season. Instead, the current Lazy Lizard Bar and Restaurant–which will retain its name–will undergo an initial facelift during a one-week close. As early as next month, customers will be able to return to enjoy The Split under new ownership (new menu and chef, among other changes) at least through the busy season, including the December holidays and the crowded peak-tourism months of January and February. New staff have already been hired–all of whom are from Caye Caulker–and they are ready to start next month.

So mark your calendars: The Split will re-open again on November 7!

There will be a reopening event–stay tuned for the link to The Split’s upcoming new Facebook Page, where they’ll share frequent updates.

On November 7, we’ll see the Lazy Lizard Bar and Restaurant with some upgrades and renovations– redecorating touches, as well as installations of a new kitchen, a new menu and new seating areas for customers. Eventually, the current Lazy Lizard will be taken down and rebuilt (with a similar look but with thatch roof and a sturdier structure).

Here’s more on the second phase of “bigger” changes coming gradually early 2015:

  • A reclaimed, wider, public beach for everyone to enjoy. The seawall near the entrance will be pushed out to 10 feet and a professionally engineered, permitted seawall will be reinstalled. There will be 10,000 square feet of beach to enjoy (starting on the right hand side of the entrance). There will also be more beach on the eastern side of the Split. The work will begin later in the season, but the team hopes for this beach part of the project to be completed around the end of March 2015.
  • A wooden deck up front, just as there is now, for those wishing to sun themselves towel-free or leap into the water.
  • A cleaned up and new swim out seating area (as there used to be beside the Lazy Lizard), with steps for families and kids to easily enter.
  • A brand new, rebuilt Lazy Lizard Bar and Restaurant–still in the wood and thatch design. The second level will include an open deck and a second bar. Beach bar foods will be served, but a real twist–while retaining the culinary taste of the island. Prices will cater to every budget. To quote GM Lynskey, the goal is not to be a “Four Seasons” at all, but to have really good beach side food, courtesy of a five-star chef with ten years of experience in Costa Rica, and who will train his staff.
  • Regular events at the Lazy Lizard, including monthly full moon parties and live music at dinner, with seafront picnic tables.
  • The Lizard Juice will remain (yes, I asked!)–it might still be green, but will have a different recipe (no complaints here).

When I asked GM Jim to give me the team’s final thoughts on the revamped Split, he emphasized that “the idea is is to create a true destination for Caye Caulker and Belize.” He added, that “[t]he Split is already a world class site and we just want to enhance the existing site, and take it to where it could be.”

The team also made it clear to me that the idea is to make improvements–the most exciting of which is the reclaimed, new and wider public beach–but to still have people come back and recognize where they are: The Split.

CLICK HERE for the whole story, and lots of awesome photos!

Posted By: Marty

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 11/06/14 08:04 PM

The Split at Caye Caulker: Closed as Of November 1st. What is Going On?

FACT: The 1.47 acre property called “The Split” has been for sale for a while. $2.7million US. A few months ago, large cement pylons were pounded into the ground around the property and talk began…

The property had been sold & a resort was being built on the property? A bridge to North Caye Caulker being built by a developer? The end of the Split as we know it? I wrote a post about the whole situation.

... ...

But the Lazy Lizard at the Split has been closed since the weekend. And there are RUMORS galore. Today Channel 5 and Channel 7 news (the two main Belize news channels) have been summoned to Caye Caulker for an update. And this is what I’m hearing. Let me put it in bullet points so I can keep it straight.

But first: NEW MANAGEMENT = Jim Lynsky working with the owner of the property. OLD MANAGEMENT = Immer Perez, Caye Caulker local and manager of the spot for the past 5 years?

... ...

SO today the Lazy Lizard at the Split is closed and locked. The news channels are on the island to get the story from Immer about what’s happening…and when this POPULAR bar will re-open and who will run it?

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

Posted By: Dane

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 11/07/14 05:20 PM

Thanks Marty.
Simple version. Dan is American, his wife is Caye Caulker well known family.
They own the Split and rented the bar to Perry until it sold.
Upon sale lease is over.
Perry fixed it up to improve sales and says it moves a lot of money for him for five years.
Dan sold it but retains a piece of the future profit.
He still holds title. He has made several deals in the past with folks who had some setbacks and didn't succeed. He was glad he held title with them, too.

Perry says that it is only a sale if title changes hands. This is not true. His lawyer will tell him that and he will try to settle with Dan on the improvements

Same story with OJ. at the end of his lease of the bar.He took the seawall with him when Dan found the price unreasonable. Cops busted OJ because the seafront belongs to the GOB and you can't grab their stuff even if you paid for it.

Perry needs to sell Dan a lot of opened bottles of
Posted By: witness

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 11/08/14 01:18 AM

The Belize "British Commonwealth Law" system has been bent and broken too many times to count.
However they do follow the law when convenient, no one knows for sure until it goes to court.
Excerpt from a case.....
Documents provided to us indicate that on 25th April, 2013 the Belize City Council got wind of a possible controversy with regards to the parcel of land and lodged a caution with the registrar of land. The caution prevents anyone from purchasing or taking any action with regards to the land without a hearing before the registrar of land.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 11/17/14 06:23 PM

Caye Caulker’s famous Lazy Lizard at the Split closed down

The iconic Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill at the Split on Caye Caulker is closed and its ownership is in dispute. The issue escalated last week when the lease-holder was forcefully and apparently illegally evicted along with all his belongings off the premises. The establishment, operated by Immer Perez, sits on an area that is internationally known, a naturally made split on the island caused by Hurricane Hattie in 1961.

The business has been closed for almost two weeks since the Lazy Lizard owner has been in a battle with the actual landowner, American, Dan Nichols. The area is known as The Split or Lazy Lizard, but it’s under the name of Emerald Point at the Lands Department. “I recently got a contract of 5 years; last year June 1st. So it’s valid up until May 31, 2018. Three days before Lobster Fest this year 2014, he (the owner) told me and gave me the news saying that he sold the Split – 99% of the place,” explained Perez, who said that since then everything has been downhill. He told the media during an interview that the problem started in August when he got a 90-day notice that he must leave the premises on Emerald Point because it was sold. Perez explained that after doing his research, he realized that the land could not have been sold. “I got to know that the place is not sold. Emerald Point has a caution on it, so that caution means they cannot transfer-they cannot sell the property due to someone else that he had a previous deal with for obtaining the property. My contract that I have states carefully that the property must be sold for me to get 90 days’ notice,” he explained

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Posted By: Marty

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 12/04/14 10:24 AM

Update on The Split and Lazy Lizard Bar on Caye Caulker: All Is Not Perfect in Paradise

Here is what I hear: today the owners had the electrical lines and meter removed from the Lazy Lizard.

And allegedly, the Caye Caulker Village Council has denied a new liquor license without a written letter from the land owner.

But isn’t that what the original five year lease was about?

The saga continues!

Let’s HOPE this is resolved amicably (is that even possible now?) by Christmas and New Years! So that our beloved Lazy Lizard can re-open serving Belikins…just like it should be.

BUT UNTIL THEN, the Lizard and the Split are open for business. Food and non-alcoholic drinks are available for purchase…and there are more than a few places to buy some cold beers in the area.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

Posted By: t42

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 12/08/14 12:30 PM

It's a shame one more local making a living screwed by greed.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 12/14/14 09:53 AM

Six charged as part of Lazy Lizard Land Dispute

Caye Caulker Police have arrested and charged five persons for the crime of “Burglary” and one person for the crime of “Damage to Property” pertaining to the land dispute of the iconic Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill located on the split at Caye Caulker. 38-year-old owner of Lazy Lizard and five-year leaseholder of the land Immer Perez has been in court proceedings since early November 2014 after he was illegally evicted from the property. During the proceedings, the Lazy Lizard was broken into, with thousands of dollars in inventory stolen.

Perez reported to police that on Monday, November 3rd between 1:30PM and 3:45PM his business was broken into. Stolen from the bar were an assortment of alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, vegetables and other food items, all mounting to $26,600.75BZ. Surveillance cameras at the establishment captured the crime and a police investigation commenced. The missing items were later found in a nearby abandoned building. Perez stated to the police that his lease on the property did not terminate until May 21, 2018 and as such he had not given anyone permission to remove any items from the establishment.

On Thursday, December 4th, police officially arrested 46-year-old Javier Novelo, 30-year-old Robert Cain, 51-year-old James Lynskey, and 35-year-old Peter Shmidt for the burglary at Lazy Lizard. All four men were brought to the San Pedro Police Station on Friday, December 5th, where they were each charged for “Burglary”.

Charges were also made on 35-year-old Leonard Nelson Nuńez, who had damaged three surveillance cameras at Lazy Lizard. Perez had reported that between Thursday, November 27th and Friday, November 28th Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill’s surveillance cameras #5, #12 and #13 were vandalized. After reviewing the surveillance video, the culprit was identified, arrested and formally charged for Damage to Property.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see photos in the San Pedro Sun

Posted By: Marty

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 12/21/14 10:09 AM

Update On Caye Caulker’s Lazy Lizard at the Split – Land Dispute Continues

Early today I was sent this document that shows that POWER has been ordered back on. Officially as of December 12th. Utilities must be provided.

As of this morning? Still no power.

I received this information from someone associated with the current lease holders at the Lazy Lizard.

So the ongoing dispute continues and Immer Perez applied for a liquor license to continue operating the Lazy Lizard bar. On the 28th of November, Mr. Perez says that he was denied by the Caye Caulker Village Council due to the fact that there were noise complaints and that the land owner no long wants alcohol sold on his property. A letter of appeal has been made and it’s being investigated.

Despite being cited for noise and liquor sales, “The Split” has been given a liquor license until 2am for tonight – a charity event.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

Posted By: Marty

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 02/11/15 10:03 AM

The Split Saga Has Another Twist; And The Lazy Lizard Moves On

Immer Perez loses court case against The Split Landowners
The Belize Supreme Court has ruled against Immer Perez in the land dispute of Emerald Point, better known as The Split in Caye Caulker Village. Perez, owner of Lazy Lizard Bar and Grill which was located on the Split, and lease-holder of the area, was in a legal battle against Emerald Point landowner, Dan Nichols. Perez has now been mandated to relocate within 20 days’ time and his liquor license has been annulled. The dispute started back in August 2014 when Perez was presented with a 90-day notice that he must leave the premises on Emerald Point because it was sold. His lease stated that if the land was sold then the lease would terminate, but Perez found out that the land was never sold. The lease, which was valid up until May 31, 2018, was still legal and as such Perez refused to evacuate The Split. The problem escalated in November 2014 when he was forcefully and apparently illegally evicted along with all his belongings off the premises.


Re: Changes coming at the Split - 02/11/15 01:03 PM

Caution still on property + court claim registered [Linked Image]
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 02/13/15 12:26 AM

If this is an official document why blank out the names?
Posted By: witness

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 02/16/15 05:07 PM

Comes as no surprise to me that people don't want publicity in "Soap Opera" Belize, what is surprising is that no one has bothered to refute this caution? If it indeed prevents a sale, something smells funny.
Posted By: artisan

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 02/18/15 07:16 PM

So, does anyone know when the Split will go back to normal?
The decreased traffic hurts us and a lot of other businesses down here at the north end of the Village.

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 02/19/15 02:18 PM

Hello Artisan,
here comment of Emerald point (owner of the split)lawyer:

*Naima Barrow, attorney for the landlord, proved to Justice Courtney Abel that a sale has been arranged, and that it is legal and binding. Barrow also proved that she has the money for the sale of the land in escrow while this dispute is being resolved.*

just for people to understand:

there is only a sign agreement between Emerald point and new potential buyers .
money transaction still freeze in the *in trust* bank account of lawyer till all caution and court claim is cleaned up to get good title

the caution still on all building and entire land of the split till court decision
the registered court claim is for couple of millions $$$$$$$ and new potential buyers are now aware of the legal situation

i am sorry Artisan,i do not think new buyers will put any more money to improve properties and facing loosing all investment till the caution and court claim situation is fixed.

the good point for you and all business north part of island:
nothing stop them to now operate Lazy Lizard bar
yes they are aloud to open and operate Lazy Lizard bar but are they still motivate to forward ???????

the SAGA continue...

Posted By: dawg

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 03/02/15 06:39 PM

So, we are coming to visit in a couple weeks. Even though the bar is closed, can people hang out at the split? In the past we have thrown a towel down, read a book, drank a beer, snorkel in the split. We are hoping to do that again. Thanks, Dawg
Posted By: luv2travl

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 03/02/15 06:49 PM

Wondering the same thing ... we will be there in less than two weeks. Sad that it won't be officially open though.
Posted By: Phil

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 03/03/15 02:00 AM

Beach Reserve/Queens Land in Belize is 60 feet from shore of most water and def beach. No way you can be stopped. Public land
Posted By: dawg

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 03/03/15 02:55 PM

Posted By: ron

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 03/12/15 05:25 AM

Today the new owners had a bunch of guys working on the bar, grounds and building some tables. started serving around 1:30. i guess they are spending money and are open again, throwing "caution" to the wind.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 03/12/15 02:18 PM

People were hanging there anyway.
Posted By: Dane

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 03/22/15 04:43 PM

A gringo walked up to a Belizian with a caution paper in his hand.
He claimed the paper put him in control of the Split so the Belize guy spent all his money on arrests and lawyers and was broken down by the result.
Some good CC person gets conned by a newly arrived gringo con man like this every couple of years.
Now someone just needs to file a caution on every lot on Caye Caulker and San Pedro and he will be King of the Cayes.
Posted By: kma292602

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 05/22/15 12:45 PM

What's the latest news on our favorite CC watering hole?
Posted By: DeeJay

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 05/26/15 11:04 PM

They are open for business..with great improvements to the outdoor seating with covered tables..
The music is not as loud which is nice.
The food and beverages are much better!
Go Enjoy!
Posted By: kma292602

Re: Changes coming at the Split - 06/25/15 04:45 PM

Does anyone have pictures of the improvements?
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