Horseshoe Bay Concession Awarded: Chops Ltd

February 18, 2016

[Updated] The Ministry of Public Works announced that the tender for the Horseshoe Bay Concession has been awarded to Chops Ltd, with the company having been selected from a total of 16 bids.

“The response we received for this was tremendous,” said the Minister of Public Works Craig Cannonier. “In total we received 16 bids for tender.”

The Ministry said, “The winner was selected by a panel of individuals from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Department of Parks and the Department of Public Lands and Buildings with observers from the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Economic Development.  It should be noted that neither the panel nor the group of observers included any Government Ministers.”

1059 Horseshoe Bay Bermuda Generic 30 Jun 2015

The Ministry said there  ”were several reasons that Chops Ltd. was chosen as the winning bid, including:

  • 1) Their fast turnaround to become fully operational by the start of the tourist season 2017;
  • 2) The proposed capital investment in the building with no need for financing or concessions from Government;
  • 3) A good business model and proven track record in the industry;
  • 4) A focus on both tourists and local customers;
  • 5) Significant job opportunities and training for Bermudians;
  • 6) Their international experience;
  • 7) Knowledge of the BTA tourism vision and how this concession fits into that tourist experience.

“Chops Ltd. promises a classic, vibrant, laidback Bermuda Beach experience. There are plans for a happy hour, live music, and an exciting mix of local and ethnic cuisine will be on offer along with the rental of chairs, beach toys, umbrellas and snorkel gear.  There will also be a small retail gift shop,” the Ministry added.

“It is proposed that Chops Ltd. will be fully operational by mid-April of 2017 but will be offering a scaled back service from good Friday of this year until April 2017.”

The tender was put out on December 11th 2015, with a closing date of January 22nd 2016.

According to job listings, Chops Ltd also runs the Red Steakhouse & Bar and Bermuda Bistro at the Beach.

Update Feb 19, 10.01am: The President of CHOPS Ltd., Rick Olson, said, “As Horseshoe Beach was voted by Conde Nast Traveller, the 14th Best Beach in the world, it is imperative that we offer our customers [both local and visitor] world class products and services.

“Not only must our delivery of such services be consistent with traditional Bermudian hospitality at its best, our vision for this vitally important tourism asset must also complement the national strategy for Bermuda’s beaches. It is our hope and belief that Horseshoe Bay will in time be voted as one of the top 5 beaches around the globe.

“Considering our extensive knowledge and experience within Bermuda’s hospitality industry, including our experience as developers and operators of beachfront hotel and restaurant facilities in the Caribbean, we are positioned to provide a quality product and experience that has yet to be offered at one of the world’s most highly regarded beaches.

“We intend to preserve the natural beauty and safety of Bermuda’s beaches, while also maintaining a casual and relaxing food, beverage and entertainment experience out of renovated and refurbished premises. As part of our strategy, we intend to develop a brand that becomes internationally recognised and beach centric, which is environmentally conscious and both relaxing and exciting.

“We are passionate about creating experiences for our visitors that translate into great memories for years to come, leading to return visits. We are all about creating jobs for Bermudians and playing our part in driving Bermuda’s economic recovery.

“Given that Horseshoe Bay is the single most visited attraction in Bermuda, we look forward to working with all sectors within the tourism industry, including hotels and cruise lines, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, transportation services, local musicians and entertainers.”

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Comments (43)

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  1. Tom Cooke says:

    Well I hope it’s better than what we have had for the last 30 yrs….

    • Legalgal says:

      Hope I can still afford to buy the kids some fries! And ice cream…. I rather liked the “cheap and cheerful” place. Just a shame not open more.

  2. Bill says:

    I certainly hope that they keep the concession a lot cleaner than they keep The Beach on Front Street!

    • Legalgal says:

      Yes the “Beach Bistro” is one of the roughest places. Have walked kids out of there due to bad language and behaviour (patrons not the kids!) during the day.

  3. Curious says:

    Great to see a decision has been made and someone is going to step in and change the Bermuda beach experience at Horseshoe. Does this include ensuring clean bathrooms and working showers?

    There is an indication that this decision was made by an independent panel and a group of observers – can you please list them for full transparency. This is a big contract awarded on public park land – what is the total value and the terms?

    What is the Bermuda Beach Policy that Bermuda is developing through this initiative and is it outlined and available in a public document? What other Bermuda Beaches are under development consideration and how soon will we learn about those plans and the potential scale of each Beach development?

  4. somuchless says:

    I suppose that news article Belcario put out (about two weeks ago) screwed his chances.

    • Widget says:


      It more then screwed Belcario, looks good on that bunch. I guess they don’t know this but the town toilets flush just off there beach in ST. Georges. Careful what you wish for boys.

  5. Beach Bum says:

    I hope the new concession employs 100 percent Bermudian staff like Mr Caines did previously. There is no reason with high school and college students returning this summer that Bermudians can not be fully employed there.

  6. jeremy says:

    well, with Rick behind it, it won’t be dull!

    • cat says:

      You will say that because you work for him and you are on a work permit with your girlfriend,alot get cover up at that beach.

  7. mj says:

    wh0 is chops ltd? what are their proven record of international experience? good they don’t need government concession, however what is their proven record based on? Are they currently running a business? just curious.

    • mike says:

      You didn’t read the article did you?

    • duh says:

      Did you read the article?

    • Goneaway says:

      Did you not read the article?

    • Rick Olson says:

      Check out Gansevort Turks and Caicos for the international experience 5 star hotel on the beach lots of amenities. For local experience take a walk down Front Street ……..

    • Riley says:

      Chops is – Rick Olsen et al and he has a restaurant in Turks and Caicos I believe it is SharkBite.

      We know how that Island was run by the previous government. What can we say about he OBA?

  8. Triangle Drifter says:

    Will there be a fee for showers?

    In US state parks there is almost always a user fee collected for day use to cover showers, restrooms, parking & use of park facilities. Some parks with beaches will have a per use shower fee that runs the shower for a set period of time.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Ah yes, the usual dislikes most likey from people who thnk that they are entitled to something for nothing.

  9. watchfuleyes says:

    Why isn’t there room for different concessions to be on one beach for variety of food? Still about one person having a monopoly as usual. There could have been different vendors on the beach. Our thinking still is so limited. We need grilling on the beaches,drink stands, and more options!!! Ask the tourists and locals what we want. Where does the little man who wants to operate something on the beaches stand?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      So, you think that anyone who wants to can arrive on any beach, take up beach space, set up shop with his grill & coolers, not have to worry about trash removal, not have to pay for beach space on public land, not have to comply with Health Department regulations & leave any mess they make behind each day. That sounds reasonable. Meanwhile the concessionaire, who pays big bucks for the concession to Government, is responsible for providing restrooms, showers & general tidyness of the beach. Perfect!

    • And they’re gonna have a line going out to de parking lot during busy season.

    • Pravda says:

      The BTA had a plan that was exactly that…. BUT that was not meant to be

  10. tobacco bay says:

    Shouldve gone to Belcario…!! the glimpses ive seen about his proposal would have truly made horseshoe world class!
    no offense to chops limited but hopefully we wont be putting a “beach bistro” at the beach!

  11. Disgusted says:

    Just the rich getting richer. Pass business to a friends and family clique. When do we see the new guy get a sincere start. Sad but this is the gravy train we are on.

  12. just wondering says:

    would be interesting to know the details of the winning bid compared to the other bids

  13. Serz says:

    And I agree- why does it have to go to ONE person? Why cant we have multiple stalls for variety? Give everyone a piece of the pie? So dissapointing

  14. Acegurl says:

    I sincerely hope this is a complete package for the restaurant, showering facilities and washroom facilities. The track record for public washrooms on this island is atrocious. So I hope there was foresight in this tendering process. I am sure Mr Olsen will do his best to attract the party people, but this is a public beach and health and hygiene are paramount. Good luck ‘Chops’, show us how it should be done.

  15. rhonda says:

    Who’s Chops Limited, and I wonder if they need a car park up to the door

  16. No longer a member says:

    They presently run two successful restaurants. He also has the money to do what is needed. Anything is better then what was there, but the standard should be monitored and if not met the license revoked at the end of each season and passed to the next candidate.

    • Riley says:

      He probably has a backer. No man is an island.

      You are missing the picture here. Something went down and the old saying one hand washed the other.

      It is great what one hears from people talking on a phone!

  17. Concerned Neighbour says:

    Something really smells fishy here! I feel like honestly, pretty much any of the other listed contenders I saw would have been a better choice…

  18. jahstice says:

    I was hoping Ice Queen would have got it and took their wahoo nuggets down there.

  19. Rick Olson says:

    Chops lLTD is the operator of Red Steakhouse who just won the first place in the Restaurant Week competition in the $49 catogory we are known for fine dining, Friday night fun and the Big Chill on Saturdays and believe we have the best chef in Bermuda. My other business Bermuda Bistro is entirely different and we attract the most diverse clientele in Bermuda which changes throughout the day until we close at 3am we have been open for 18 yeare. We have always hired Bermudians without hesitation and in fact have NEVER had a non Bermudian employed as a bartender of even a porter.
    Our goal is to be 100% BERMUDIAN staffed which might prove difficult in the kitchen BUT I have all ready hired a local head Chef and GM . We will be family friendly and reasonably price and we will produce a better product in a much nicer atmosphere . We will extend our hours and hope to be open weekend in the offseason year round .We will NOT operate a late night business except for possible events , we look forward to having local entertainment every day primarily island music to welcome our visitors . We hope to do dinner BBQ parties twice a week with local reggae and soca bands and hopefully the Big Chill for a sunset wind down party.

    We are going to raise the bar , set new standards and most of all have a lot of fun with our all our customers !

    If you got what it takes and want to work in the hospitality business please email me as I will be unavailable include references and a resume BERMUDIANS ONLY OR SPOUSES at this time please. We intend to hire servers , cooks, cashiers, beach attendandts , cleaners/ handyman and bar staff.


    • The Original Truth says:

      Rick Olson is the real deal! Thank you Rick!

      The rest of the restaurant owners should take a cue from him.

      Believing in Bermudians is how you get the island back on track. Rick’s success proves the stereotypes wrong.

    • Selah says:

      This sounds great so far (Plenty jobs)! Think Positive Bermuda…

  20. Widget says:

    @Rick Olson

    There will be people like BT and his band of clowns that will cry over you getting the concession, but hey, good for you mate, turn it into a Bermuda experience and much success. Don’t worry about the naysayers.

  21. 1luv1bermudain says:

    Your Chef was runner-up next to muses Chef. Still impressive as one of the popular Chefs. Bartenders in bermuda have to be bermudain. Maybe you know something we don’t as there was talk that Chops Ltd won a week before this article came out. Reminds me of Tobacco Bay and what there Manager had previously mentioned. Is he your GM?

  22. Riley says:

    The RFP was turned around very, very quick. RFP out Dec 11th, hand in Jan 22nd 6 short listed presented Feb 4th and on the 5th Rick Olsen has it on face book at 5.30am the following day his new office?

    If we cannot smell fishy then we are all sleeping.

  23. Jared P says:

    Gotta love haters . Why can’t people just be happy and realize this is great for tourism on an island that has been struggling to bring new visitors . Rick Olson has and always will be great for business in Bermuda . Congrats Chops Ltd. I know you will do big things , as I’m from Canada and will continue to visit your venues and tell everyone I know about how wonderful they are and the staff !!