The Daily Herald writes that the The 10th season of Saba Idol competition, hosted by Scout’s Place in Windwardside started Friday with the unveiling of the newly overhauled lounge. Contestants signed up for six songs, two per session, with duets also accepted this year. Competition rounds are held every Friday night until November, when the Saba Idol winner will be crowned.
Over 100 people showed up for the opening night, with many curious about the transformation of Scout’s Place from a pirates’ bar theme into a sleek, modern lounge and restaurant, unlike any on the island. The other reason for the great turnout might have been the heavily reduced prices of alcoholic beverages and the pleasure of listening to some of the less competitive, but thoroughly entertaining Sabaoke singers.
Saba Idol judges score the registered performers for stage performance, vocals, lyrics and audience reaction, with a maximum of twenty points per performance. All scores are published weekly on the Saba Idol Facebook page. The event features generous prizes, made available by sponsors from Saba and St. Maarten.
Saba Divers and Scout’s Place owners and managers Wolfgang and Barbara Tooten oversaw the establishment’s overhaul in an impressive six days. Asked about the concept for the new look, Wolfgang said: “the cosy pirate-look was old after 12 years of business. It was nice for tourists looking for the Caribbean flair, but Saba has developed and become more sophisticated. There are new businesses opening on Saba and we needed to change into something really fresh, with a clean, modern look. The main colours are black and gray, with red accents throughout. The look is that of a modern lounge or sushi place, where people can just relax.” Asked if this look will encourage a change in menu, he confirmed that the sushi nights will be brought back and that they are working on a new menu with a new chef to cut a new niche for the place on the local culinary stage. The new menu is to be unveiled during the upcoming tourist high-season.
Asked if the famous Tooten schnitzel and the German dishes are to survive the changes, Wolfgang confirmed that he continues to be the main chef for the place and the international fusion cuisine will keep all the favourites, only adding more of the fresh organic produce from Organoponics garden. The signature Pirate Burger is certain to make the cut, said Wolfgang, a sign that the soul of the place survived the modern makeover. Ceviche, Latin American cuisine flavours and Saba lobster are to feature more prominently on the new menu.
The new cocktail lounge environment is to create a different feel for the place, with the bar being expanded. The Tootens also plan to have special tea and coffee hours, with a diversified dessert menu. They are grateful for the many friends who helped them transform the place in such a short time. While the “German planning helped,” the execution and overtime efforts of the construction workers from the Dominican Republic were impressive, said Wolfgang.