BVI News

Brandywine business robbed weeks before fire, operators suspect arson

What remains of Nolly’s By The Beach Restaurant & Bar after being consumed by fire last Wednesday, November 13. (BVI News photo)

By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff

Considering that Nolly’s By The Beach Restaurant & Bar in Brandywine Bay experienced two major ill-fated events in less than four months of opening for business, operators of the establishment are now contemplating whether the fire that destroyed the business last Wednesday was a case of arson.

Simon Potter, one of the directors at Nolly’s, told BVI News that the establishment was robbed at gunpoint around August.

In the night of the robbery, masked/armed robbers stole just under $1,000 from the cash register, Potter said. The incident happened in the presence of staff and customers at approximately 9 pm.

The matter was reported to the police but the perpetrators have not been caught.

“Business had gone down after the robbery and it was just coming back up,” said Potter who has become suspicious of the coincidence of the fire and robbery.

“I sat and wondered ‘how could this have happened? Did someone deliberately set it [on fire]?’ I don’t know … the way the place burn so quickly, it is possible. I can’t say for sure,” he told BVI News.

We lost everything

While recalling the fiery events of November 13, Potter said the company’s three employees secured the establishment about 9:45 pm, as they would normally do before heading home for the evening.

He said he received news of the fire a few minutes past 11 pm. He then had the unenviable task of informing the business owner — who resides in the neighbouring US Virgin Islands — of the discouraging news.

Potter said the business was not insured.

“Not one thing was salvageable, [we] lost everything.”

Nevertheless, the business operator said they are “looking at the possibility of rebuilding.”


Chief Fire Officer Zebalon McLean told BVI News it took approximately 10 officers and some two-and-a-half hours to extinguish the blaze.

Despite their efforts, the flames spread to a nearby mechanic shop and destroyed several vehicles.

The fire chief said various substances have been sent for forensic testing and should be back in two weeks.

“We don’t suspect anything,” he said while responding to queries about the possibility of arson.

“We are going to let the investigation run its course,” McLean said, adding that a report will be drafted shortly after investigations conclude.

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  1. anything goes in the BVI says:

    Brandy wine bay is fastly becoming an industrial dump site…Good land them friggin up…I cant understand, for the life of me, how kedric could allow this after spending 4 million on a beach where people don’t swim…A next thing i see happening is remote boats are racing while the little kids are swimming a few feet away, this is very dangerous

    Like 15
    Dislike 4
  2. blind man says:

    as far as i see we need proper zoning. it’s either town&country sleeping or people doing what they want where they want how they want. just look at brandywine bay and see what it became today

    Like 11
  3. Classic Example of Waste, Mismanagement or Other. says:

    Could never have spent 4 million on a project and the final results look like what exist on and around that so called beach.

    If so, that is a very poor example of how to spend
    4 million dollars and produce nothing for that huge sum of money.

    How can such absurdities be allowed to go unchallenged?

    Like 14
    • Exactly says:

      Everyone is against the $1mil wall but at least the wall is there. I don’t agree with how the wall was done but why is all the focus on that when over $4mil was spent dumping sand and building structures on this bay, trying to turn it into a beach and nobody cares?

      Like 7
      Dislike 1
      • Read between the lines says:

        Thats why the minister of the subject is now a part of the political party that is being funded by the individual who benefitted from this contract.

  4. My thoughts says:

    Nevertheless, the business operator said they are “looking at the possibility of rebuilding.”

    They need to compensate the the mechanic shop and the car owners before they even start rebuilding

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  5. BaySide Resident says:

    May we PLEASE has at least 2 street lights in Brandywine Bay?? It is Too dark at night. When it is not fullmoon time, you can’t see a thing outside; you have to walk with a flashlight.

    Like 8
    Dislike 3
  6. Wow says:

    The business was not insured?Hmmmm How they gonna pay the others for the damage their fire caused?

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