It is probably unique in the annals of history, but after the armed incursion into Amigos restaurant last Tuesday night I and others have decided we need to help Amigos with it’s legal fight to survive. We are asking for your participation.
For those who are not familiar with the background, Amigos Restaurant was a long time fixture in Boquete where Restaurant Baru is currently located. They lost their lease and then leased and renovated their current location, which was a run down building. In the past the building was used a many things including a Disco. Amigos has had problems with neighbors about noise and I have written twice before about those issues, once detached and once clearly with a bias.
Amigos has been harassed on a steady basis by the mayor, the police, the health department and other government agencies. When the Boquete health department (MINSA) would not order Amigos to stop live music, someone went over their head to David to obtain an order. Amigos cannot have live music until the issue is resolved.
Amigos fills an important niche in Boquete, for those who enjoy music in a bar setting it is one of a small group of options available in a town that is trying to market itself as a tourist destination. Tourist destinations need night life, Boquete has very little to offer.
Last Tuesday at 11:45pm there was what on the surface appeared to be an armed robbery at Amigos. Reality questions whether this was a robbery or still another in a series of events trying to close Amigos.
The alleged robbers, six of them had dinner at Amigos earlier on Tuesday night. When they returned to “rob” Amigos they threatened with guns placed at the heads of Mark the manager and two other employees. Three were later arrested, they were from David, the other three have not yet been arrested, yet.
The robbers did not take the money from the bar, they took some liquor and a wallet from a Panamanian customer. Why rob a bar and not take the money? It only makes sense if robbery was not the intent. Was the intent was to intimidate people and scare customers away? Was this was still another effort to close the bar?
All of this is taking it’s toll on Amigos. As a member of this community I want to encourage people to help Amigos stay open. They no longer have live music, pending resolution of the noise issue but they still need to pay staff and legal fees as they fight to stay open.
Friday, 25 May at 5pm there will be a fund raiser for Amigos at Amigos. Come, have dinner, have a drink and if you wish make a donation to the Amigos Legal Defense Fund. We need to help an expat operated business that Boquete needs stay open.
My normal disclaimer, I have not financial interest in Amigos, I am neither and investor nor employee, the people who run Amigos are friends and I have known them for almost six years and would hate to see them run out of town by intimidation.