Swingers put police station on the map

WE were fortunate enough last night to be invited to Stanley 88, the ritzy new restaurant that has metamorphosed in what used to be a police station with a proud colonial history.

The restaurant itself has yet to open, but according to co-owner Freddie Lam it should be accepting customers sometime next month when licensing has been sorted out.

But if last night's private party is anything to go by, this could be the next ''place'' on the town's culinary map.

Located at 88 Stanley Village Road (hence the name), and refurbished at a cost of $20 million, it is difficult to know what to make of the place. But marketing guru Dick Kaufman was on hand to offer guidance.

''The restaurant is born out of Californian rawness and is designed to shock the senses,'' offered Dick in his usual understated style.

Freddie's co-partner is wealthy Peter Lewis whose toy company supplies the wardrobe for Barbie dolls.

Peter and his wife Joanie were not present last night as they are in the Cayman Islands.

With the holiday season coming to an end, some of the first arrivals back from their sojourns were there.

Among them, lawyer-entrepreneur Gordon Oldham arrived at the party with his arm heavily bandaged, having flown in from Europe just a few hours earlier. He wasn't forthcoming when I asked him if he'd been skiing.