Curtains for Mariner’s

By JENNY GRAINER [email protected]

Friday September 24, 2010 will go down in many personal diaries as the end of an era in Portimão, as the hallowed walls of Mariner’s Restaurant rang out with a joyous musical tribute to its colourful history for the very last time.

Yet one more lovely old building will be destroyed in the pursuit of modernising this historical area and with it will go all traces of the old Jewish settlement in Portimão, its Synagogue and trading area.

Jim Harley and his wife Pam have been running this lovely old building for the last 25 years as a very successful bar and restaurant and have countless memories of the excellent and world renowned musicians who have played all styles and genres of music over the years.

“So many people have shared Christmas with us here,” Jim said, “and held important anniversaries and family occasions, not to mention our annual ‘Almost Burn’s Night’ an irreverent poke at the great Bard. My wife and I had our own wedding here and we have raised thousands of Euros for charity with plays, musicals and even ‘Murder Mystery Nights’ this is the perfect place to create a haunted house.”

With its high ceilings and thick beams, hand built rock walls and wrought iron gates and windows, there really is nothing quite like Mariners. It will be sadly missed by the many long term residents who turned up to fill the restaurant as the New Orleans Jazz Band played their hearts out for the tearful but joyful last night.

Jim Harley even took over the microphone for a final rendition of Keep on Smiling and with tears in his eyes reminded the audience that while the doors were closing on Mariners, this great Jazz Band would be moving just across the road every week to the Casa Inglesa on Thursdays at 8.30pm.

It won’t have the same atmosphere as Mariner’s but the music will continue to be great and well…we can’t live in the past. 

I hear tell that a petition may be organised to save the building – I’ll keep you posted.