Foodies looking for late-night eats in east Trinidad can now breathe a sigh of relief after doubles vendors returned to Curepe Junction after a brief hiatus.
Guardian Media understands that since Sharzard Manick of The Original Sauce Doubles, was shot by gunmen at his stand at the corner of the Southern Main Road and Havelock Street, on August 10, activity at the popular nightspot ground to a halt for several days.
When a news team visited the area on Tuesday night, Manick’s relatives had opened their stand for the first time since the shooting. Other doubles vendors bearing the same popular name and operating a short distance away, also closed for a shorter period before reopening.
Speaking to Guardian Media under the condition of anonymity, a representative of the company said that although they were still mourning his death, they had no choice but to reopen.
“We have to go on because this is what we do for a living,” he said.
While he did not want to comment extensively on Manick’s murder, he described it as an isolated incident.
“He (Manick) was a close family member to us and was a good worker as well,” he said, as he maintained that they still had no idea why he was attacked. Initial reports claimed that Manick was attacked because he was a witness in an ongoing criminal case. `
As he attended to customers in front of the transparent plexiglass enclosure, which still bears the bullet holes from Manick’s shooting, his relative said the family was disappointed by some members of the public to made insinuations towards the business after the shooting.
However, he claimed that he and his family, who operate several stands around the country, were attempting to ignore such negativity.
“People will fight you and try to bring you down but those things would just make you stronger,” he said.
An oyster vendor, who has been operating in the area for over 35 years, said that business at the night was generally slower due to the country’s crime situation.
“Normally I would not be able to sit down because things so fast but right now I wouldn’t advise anybody to try a business here. Things real hard,” he said.
Several soft drink vendors, who operate near to the doubles vendors, said that the absence of the doubles vendors directly affected their businesses.
“The place was real quiet. When it doesn’t have doubles, here does be dead,” one vendor said.
All the vendors who were interviewed called for increased police presence and patrols in the area as they claimed to have been victims of robbery in the past.