Popular Dubai restaurant shuts down after 24 years

Emotional scenes as Carter’s serves last orders

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Mazhar Farooqui

Published: Fri 1 Apr 2022, 11:36 PM

Last updated: Fri 1 Apr 2022, 11:37 PM

A popular gastropub has permanently shut after 24 years of business in Dubai.

Carter’s the colonial- style restaurant at Wafi City Mall served its last orders amid emotional scenes on Thursday evening.

Eyes were moist and voices hushed as scores of loyal customers gathered at the place for the final time to say goodbye to their beloved joint.

Among them were longtime Dubai expats Brian Britnor and Susan from England who had been visiting the place almost every week since its opening in April 1998.

“Carter’s is the end of an era but what a legacy it leaves behind,” said Brian. “It was our favourite haunt as long as I could remember. We have fond memories of it and they will always stay with us,” he said.

Susan nodded sagely said as she recalled the wonderful time spent at the restaurant, which was famous for its British culinary delights and oval dance floor.

“There was more to Carter’s than food and drinks. We shared our lives here,” she said.

At another table sat Michael and Rita who live at the nearby Wafi Residence and have also been a regular at Carter’s for more than two decades.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

“I remember coming here for the opening,” said Rita from Italy. “Back then, they had a live music band called Captain Jonathans from the US.

“I have seen the sports bar evolve over the years. It had wonderful service and amazing food and vibes all of which will be sorely missed,” she said.

Anup, from India described Carter’s as a slice of history. “See that,” he said pointing towards a hanging disco ball with reflective mirrors.

“My dad used to dance below it. Where do you see a disco ball now? Some people have been coming here for two generations so feel absolutely gutted so see it closing. It’s like a personal loss,” he said.

“I can’t remember how many live football matches I watched here over calamari,” said another loyal customer.

The closure of the restaurant has also elicited an outpouring of emotions on social media.

“My husband proposed at Carter’s, back in 2000,” said Kerri Bartosik-Hanbali in a post on Facebook group, Dubai – The Good Old Days that chronicles the evolution of the emirate.

Many social media users reminisced about the evening when Bruce Wills performed at a party to mark the opening of Planet Hollywood. “What a great night,” wrote Deirdre Mccarthy-bezold. Still others gushed about its ambience and distinct ceiling fans.

Charlie, the Slovak manager of Carter’s for the past six years said it was his longest stint at one place. “I thoroughly enjoyed my work here. We had a quality team and quality customers. It was a fantastic journey but as they say all good things come to an end,” he said with a wry smile.

It’s not immediately clear what will come in place of Carter’s although the grapevine has it that the property has been taken over by Irish bar McCafferty’s which has announced some new locations in the UAE recently.


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