There is nothing permanent in this world and this saying fits the situation here. Titos, the legacy of the D’Souza family considered to be Goa’s iconic nightclub and brand, was sold to the new owners by the director and partner of the nightclub Mr. Ricardo D’Souza. He took it on social media saying that he is not going to set up any business in Goa and for him, this is the End of an Era.
Social media sites and WhatsApp groups of the people in Goa reached a chaotic bustle as the news of Goa’s most popular club, Tito’s announced a permanent shut down. Screenshots and clippings of its owner Mr. Ricardo Joseph D’Souza’s statement on his personal Facebook page are being circulated since.
In the public post, Mr. Ricardo made the solemn disclosure that the company has sold its entire business in Goa, “it is with sadness but with anger,” he said. He further added that this closure is for good, and they have no intentions to ever conduct any new business in Goa.
Unapologetically displaying angsty undertones, the post pointed fingers at “officials” asking them to employ his staff and workers who were now left stranded without a job, and would continue to be so, owing to the lockdown and dire state of mounting unemployment in the state.
This “harassing lot” as the owner referred to them, are understood to be officials from the Coastal Regulations Zone (CRZ), Planning and Development Authority (PDA), the Block Development Officers (BDO), NGOs, the panchayat, and the sarpanches.
Drawing out clear exceptions, he explicitly thanked CM Dr. Sawant, Mr. Shawn Martins from the panchayat, the community of helpful IAS officers, and the staff of the company, both former and currently employed, for all their support and help. He also extended gratitude to all the neighbors of the club on Tito’s Lane, as well as friends, family, and the people of Goa who “all contributed to this great brand called Tito’s…”
An emotional and compelling post, it looked back upon the love the brand had received over the years. The owner also stated with utmost humility that he and his whole family had been adequately compensated and that he had “suffered the least,” adding with much regret that although he will be sharing some of the compensation with his staff, the fact remains that “in the long term they now have no jobs”.
The comments section was rife with sympathy, sadness, and protest. Many expressed their anger with corrupt officials who may have made it difficult for the company to carry on their business, thereby leading to such a step. Many touted it to be a discouraging and sad picture for all aspiring entrepreneurs to look up to.
Several others reminisced their memories at the club, or of their associations with the company, lauding their goodwill and humility. The news comes as a shock to the business community and hints at the adversities they have been pushed under due to corruption, all of this exacerbated by the pandemic.
A locally-owned brand that was the recipient of love and fame from across the globe, attracting hundreds of international tourists each year, Tito’s was a pioneer and leader in the clubbing and nightlife experience of Goa. Tito’s Goa was established by Tito Henry De Souza in 1971 and was the first discotheque of the state. Given Goa’s image as the original party destination, in many ways, Tito’s was a pioneering symbol of party culture not just in Goa but in the whole of India.
The news has the people of Goa shocked, and certainly heartbroken, as was evident in the comments section. Goan netizens displayed vehement agreement with Mr. Ricardo in calling this “the end of an era”, stating that Goa will never be the same without Tito’s.