By Esther Durand, BVI News Journalist
Bomba Shack is coming back.
With hopes of successful legal proceedings in relation to the location of the acclaimed tourist attraction, owner Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith is eyeing a 2018 reopening.
“I want to go back in business around July/August after the court case and I want to take my time and build something really shack style. I have a lawyer and she told me not to worry. So, I’m not worrying,” said a bullish Smith, who is currently fighting to remain on the leased land where he has been operating for nearly 50 years.
As Smith prepares for the looming court case scheduled for June, the 75-year-old businessman has also sought to get financial assistance to rebuild the establishment.
A GoFundMe account was set up after the hurricanes to fund the rebuild, and Smith is hoping to garner at least $2,000 in donations to purchase plumbing, electrical, and building materials.
While Smith wants to rebuild an establishment by the seashore further in the future, he hopes to build his new shack opposite the location where the old structure had been erected in Capoons Bay, Tortola.
The new shack would be built in front of a small wooden storeroom which he now calls home.
As Smith spoke with BVI News, he sat on an old office chair by his doorway; wearing his signature hat and time-worn clothes.
The remainder of his wardrobe has been in short supply since Hurricane Irma destroyed his business, made off with his belongings, and left him with an injury.
During the disaster, the building in which he weathered the storm sustained immense damage.
The hurricane ripped the roof from the building; causing Smith to receive a head injury from a flying missile.
“I was out for about 10 minutes. It left my eyes kind of blurry, but my sight is coming back,” he said.
After the hurricanes, Smith resided with family and friends for three months before moving into the storeroom that was located opposite his destroyed shack.
The senior citizen said he now relies on others to assist him to get around because of a medical issue with his legs.
But, despite months of hardship, the 75-year-old businessman remains hopeful and in inspiringly good spirits.
Bomba Shack is a relatively tiny and unsophisticated wooden bar known for its full moon parties and, perhaps, even more importantly, its awe-inspiring ability to attract tourists.
The structure has been in danger of not being rebuilt because of an ongoing feud between owner Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith and family members who own the land where the shack was located.
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