The End of An Era – The Galatex Era

notice2After a long and hard battle that started in 1991 when Galatex first opened the police finally got what hey wanted and closed it down. That’s right ladies and gentleman there is NO MORE GALATEX. I speak from a lot of people when I say that last night they took a piece of our childhood away from us.

Galatex was the source of much gossip and debate but I don’t want to start listing all the law factors and the licences issue. Galatex raised generations of people and trust me when I tell u that after working in a bar for about four years constantly last night I had to watch the police tare apart something that was more like a home to me. I was standing inside that bar that I worked for my last night and I knew that every single worker, client and boss felt the same way I did. We all new this was coming but no one ever thought that Galatex would end so suddenly. Galatex was a place everyone went to and it didn’t matter what style, music preference or even the way you looked like didn’t matter because it was a place where you could find a bar that suited you most. There was no pesky face control and you didn’t have to spend all your monthly allowance on drinks. Reasonable prices, generally friendly atmosphere and people taking care of the safety. However, for the government this seemed like a problematic place. Constant fines, the negative answers to request for licence and negotiations with the police these are examples of just a few things Galatex faced. However with the new law passed about the music and the closing of Privilege, Breeze, Drops and yes even Tempo meant that Galatex’s fate was sealed. Last weekend the police came to the bars and took all the speakers forcing the music to stop at around 11. Galatex staff tried going up to the Germasogia Ministers to talk to them but that didn’t help. Saturday night ended at 11 o clock as well. However this weekend brought about a drastic change. The police informed the owners about was to happen and people came to work knowing that within hours not only will they themselves unemployed but also know that a place they grew up in was just minuets away from being taken away. The police came at about 11 and not just the CID but something like SWAT team accompanied them, just in case I mean Galatex is a ghetto hence full of thugs. Half of the ghetto inhabitants were crying by the end of the night but we are still dangerous hence should be exterminated. I cannot speak for the whole Galatex but at my second home, better known as Down Under, as soon as the first speaker was taken down the bar started clapping. Sarcastically mind you. It took about 15 minuets for them to close something that people put 15 years to make! Eventually the police left and the bar staff and friends stayed to clean the bars and to have their final drinks. A lot of people started coming Galatex from the age of twelve and most came back there all the time. Those who don’t go there anymore still remember what they went through there. Yes drinking, fights and even drugs at times but this is a constant event in all countries and in ALL bars in Cyprus itself. The government had their reasons not to like Galatex and we can’t do anything about it since Galatex indeed didn’t have a licence to play music BUT who didn’t want to give the licence and then punish us for not having the licence. As ridicules as it sounds this in fact is true. Galatex closed last night around 2 am but this time without music, customers and happy faces. There was swearing, crying and disappointment. Disappointment because youngsters have no place to go. Disappointment because kids will get drunk without supervision of any sort. Disappointment because all the memories, friends and fun was now demolished.

This is a whole new beginning for most of the people who went to Galatex and people who worked there. Now we have to deal with the fact that we have to change our lives and out habits but the most irritating part of all this are all the unanswered questions. We even have a slogan. “We do everything you ask us; maybe you have something to hide”. Whatever it is the police managed to destroy not only an important destination for tourists and a provider of work places for people but also an important part of out lives, mine at least.