CVO is dead

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Farol
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CVO is dead

Post by Farol » Wed Nov 25, 2015 6:23 pm

Was out last week and the contrast between CVO, Ferragudo & Alvor was dramatic.

We went to Oasis one night and were the only diners.

Was going to go to Tasquinha for music but when I phoned they said they had no more music planned.

Went to Vagabond in Alvor and got the last available table after which they turned people away. Tried to make a reservation to go back on Monday and they were fully booked.

Another night went to O Barril in Ferragudo and counted 23 other diners - not bad for a little traditional restaurant.

The plane was full both ways, the weather was like a lovely English spring day and during the day there seemed lots of people about. Did the boardwalk at Salgados and there seemed as many walkers as during the summer.

I've said before on here CVO needs to get its act together. For places like Brady's bar to shut for so many months seems daft. There are enough customers around if you can make it worth going out. If owners want exotic holidays fine take some time off and get staff that you can trust to run the place in the meantime. The girls in Bradys have been there years and can run the place standing on their heads.

Can't some more places stay open part time? Weekends? Daytime? Evenings? Can't they be more creative to draw in customers?

Give it another couple of years and CVO will be as depressed and jaded as Amacao de Pera and Quateira.

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by PhilT » Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:47 pm

Went to A Gale Monday evg - usually packed but on this occasion one Italian family, an English couple and me. Most car parking in use, so where was everybody? Feel sorry for the places that do stay open if everybody goes elsewhere. Suspect there is a problem with the "Carvoeiro mark up" which sets an avg. meal €2 over other places - if you've made an extra €20k from that why stay and struggle?

algarve123
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Re: CVO is dead

Post by algarve123 » Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:11 pm

I agree that it would be nice if there were more places open out of season but was there any pubs/restaurants open that were busy and doing well?

We have never been over to Carvoeiro this late in the season but we may be more tempted to do so if there was some places that were open as normal and reasonably busy.

Bruce Wallis
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Re: CVO is dead

Post by Bruce Wallis » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:55 pm

Its horses for courses isnt it?
We love Carvoeiro this time of year, and hate the summer when it's crowded.

The place reverts back to being "the village"
There are plenty of places open if you know where to look, though that may well expand out to Lagoa and Ferragudo.

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by Raithstar » Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:06 pm

It won't be quiet from Saturday onwards I will make sure of that lol

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by soulman » Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:04 pm

We were there last week as well, and yes the 15 or so restaurants that were open were a bit quiet, but there were a lot of golfers around, all the courses were packed. It seems that many were on some sort of deal with Pestana, and were staying in the Pestana Hotels in Alvor as they were offering incredible golfing packages. It would appear that a special subsidised rate the hotel groups get has really helped them fill their places, but, at the expense of all others. That's probably why Alvor was so busy.

The only restaurant that seemed to be fairly busy most nights was Happy's as usual, and A Boa Vida bar which was packed, no live music though, but they played some great music from my era so me and the wife were more than happy, and we met a lot of really nice people there.

Personally I don't think the smaller businesses can be blamed for closing though, they have had it tough for quite a while now, and to have staff employed throughout the year, and have food that goes to waste because of the few customers around, would probably send many to the wall. It seems to be more cost effective for them to close with little or no overheads than to lose money by being open.

One owner told us that in 2011 hotels were given reduced Tourism IVA rates down to 6% which is still going on, yet restaurants and bars still having to pay 23%. He didn't know if he would be able to continue for much longer, and said that the big companies always get the help, yet the small guys have to keep paying to help the big ones make more money. We are all part of the tourism industry, and as a whole probably generate more money for the government than the hotels, but they get the help and we just have to keep paying to help them and their friends make more money.

For me its a catch 22 situation, if more people went to CVO in the winter months more places could afford to be open, but it would need a heck of a lot of people to help keep nearly 100 bars and restaurants open 12 months of the year.

So come on all you CVO lovers, get yourselves over to the place we all love, in winter as well as summer, and help keep these small businesses open. Don't blame them for the town being quiet, they will be there if you are.

pato
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Re: CVO is dead

Post by pato » Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:15 am

soulman wrote:We were there last week as well, and yes the 15 or so restaurants that were open were a bit quiet, but there were a lot of golfers around, all the courses were packed. It seems that many were on some sort of deal with Pestana, and were staying in the Pestana Hotels in Alvor as they were offering incredible golfing packages. It would appear that a special subsidised rate the hotel groups get has really helped them fill their places, but, at the expense of all others. That's probably why Alvor was so busy.

The only restaurant that seemed to be fairly busy most nights was Happy's as usual, and A Boa Vida bar which was packed, no live music though, but they played some great music from my era so me and the wife were more than happy, and we met a lot of really nice people there.

Personally I don't think the smaller businesses can be blamed for closing though, they have had it tough for quite a while now, and to have staff employed throughout the year, and have food that goes to waste because of the few customers around, would probably send many to the wall. It seems to be more cost effective for them to close with little or no overheads than to lose money by being open.

One owner told us that in 2011 hotels were given reduced Tourism IVA rates down to 6% which is still going on, yet restaurants and bars still having to pay 23%. He didn't know if he would be able to continue for much longer, and said that the big companies always get the help, yet the small guys have to keep paying to help the big ones make more money. We are all part of the tourism industry, and as a whole probably generate more money for the government than the hotels, but they get the help and we just have to keep paying to help them and their friends make more money.

For me its a catch 22 situation, if more people went to CVO in the winter months more places could afford to be open, but it would need a heck of a lot of people to help keep nearly 100 bars and restaurants open 12 months of the year.

So come on all you CVO lovers, get yourselves over to the place we all love, in winter as well as summer, and help keep these small businesses open. Don't blame them for the town being quiet, they will be there if you are.
While there are country bumpkins like Bruce Wallace out there you'll never get anywhere, he won't even acknowledge that it's a TOWN, he's living in the past. :P

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by shanagarry » Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:33 am

It's a tough one - other places are livelier and have more on offer. The scenario outlined by everybody here (closed and empty restaurants/bars) at this time of year is not new - it's been like this for years. During the 'good years' most establishments remained open until Christmas but once the Almansor decided to close for the winter months - the die was cast and others followed suit.

Recently we had a week long break in Mijas in Spain - an area new to us - but we were pleasantly surprised. There was a lot going on, plenty of people about and it's a very nice place. More importantly, prices are significantly better (less) than Cvo. Coincidentally,the flights to Malaga, like those to Faro were also full.

Clearly the attractive and heavily subsidised deals being offered by Pestana are beyond the means of the privately owned/run hospitality businesses in Cvo and that's where they need the support of the Council to continue the powerful momentum created during the summer months. Given that the Carvoeiro DNA has been built on its family appeal - it's inevitable that once the schools go back - the place gradually empties and the life is sucked out of the place. Is it any wonder then that the groups of golfers and others look to other centres where there's more going on?

So where to now - transform into a Villamoura/Albufeira or build on the respectable image Cvo has cultivated over many years. Striking the right balance is the challenge for fun seekers or those who want nothing to change. A debate that has the potential to create a bit of "excitement" - depending on your Cvo preferences.

Personally - I lean towards finding a way to creating a livelier environment and maybe that needs a more proactive Chamber of Commerce or similar body to prod the Lagoa council into investment action (they're not spending it in Lagoa).

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by pickwick » Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:37 am

I think a lot depends on the quality offered. Yesterday we had breakfast in Fabrica Velha on the in road and it was full at 09.30. We had lunch in Earth and it was half full and dinner in the Wolf which was full except for 1 table of 4. Looking over the road Hawelli (curry and pizza!) was empty and 6 (a bar with front completely open despite a cold evening) had a couple playing darts who may or may not have been staff! Do the owners honestly expect customers when the offering is so poor?

Most of the establishments in CVO need to give themselves a good shake and move with the times.

Pickwick

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by Aldo » Sat Nov 28, 2015 11:40 am

Completely agree, when we first stated visiting CVO the winter months were a pleasant relief from the hectic summer months. The winter months were mainly golfers and property owners and a great atmosphere was had! Lagoa council have invested but more is needed. I am always surprised that the entertainment in the square missed the may half term holidays because the Portuguese summer starts 1 June - in my opinion they need to be more commercial.

HampshireRich
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Re: CVO is dead

Post by HampshireRich » Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:40 pm

Didn't we have this dead-end discussion this time last year? :roll:

tricky
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Re: CVO is dead

Post by tricky » Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:41 pm

Yes we did Rich. Personally. I love cvo out of season. True the more touristy restaurants arnt open, but perhaps people should look harder at Lagoa and ferragudo and visit the local places. I also like the fact that people have time to stop and chat and it may be my imagination ( :!: :wink: ) but prices seem a bit lower

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by Bruce Wallis » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:22 pm

Speaking as one who spent many of his formative years growing up in an English seaside resort that effectively became a ghost town between the end of October and Easter, I see nothing particularly unusual about Carvoeiro becoming very quiet during November, December, January and February.
The village economy, (or town if Pato prefers), is geared that way.
if you like, it gorges in the summer, and lives off the stored fat in the winter.

There are other places the thrill seekers can go, but for people like us, Carvoeiro is a wonderful place to be in the winter.

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Re: CVO is dead

Post by Raithstar » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:36 am

Arrived on Saturday for a week .
OPEN
Cafe Fino
Le Cro
The Wolf
Carvoeiro Tandoori
Haweli
Casa Algarvia
Casa do Biffe
Maxine
Happys
Agale
Jokers
Improvisto
Hemingways
Harry's
Bar Charly
Grand Cafe
Carvoeiro bar
Bar Six
Taste
Jota Lita
A boa vida
Sullys


CLOSED

Kula bar
Havana
Brady's
Roundup
Terroir
Primavera being refurbished
Ele & Ela
Tony's
Smilers
Metabixo
Jan
O Barco

That's all I can remember off the top of my head whilst sitting in the lovely sunshine , Ate in Agale last night and it was fairly busy with only a couple of spare tables .
Last edited by Raithstar on Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Farol
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Re: CVO is dead

Post by Farol » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:24 am

Raithstar wrote:Arrived on Saturday for a week .
OPEN
Cafe Fino
Le Cro
The Wolf
Carvoeiro Tandoori
Haweli
Casa Algarvia
Casa do Biffe
Maxine
Happys
Agale
Jokers
Improvisato
Hemingways
Harry's
O Barco
Grand Cafe
Carvoeiro bar
A boa vida
Sullys
OK so you found places open but how many customers were in them and what are they doing to tempt customers in? My post at the top of this topic was drawing the contrast in fortunes between different towns. There may be lots that you found open but if they were all empty, like when we went to Oasis, then how much longer will they stay open. It used to be that bars put on music in the low season to draw people in whereas in the peak season there were so many punters around that it made little difference. In a similar fashion restaurants would put on speacial offers.

I agree that most of us that own property in the Algarve like or prefer the off peak seasons but I do like to have a bit of a happy and enjoyable atmosphere otherewise I might as well stay at home in the evening.

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