'Three inches too long': NDG restaurant told terrace doesn't comply with city regulations
A restaurant owner in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) says he's facing a $5,000 dollar bill to replace his terrace because he was told by the city that the one he's had for the past two years is a few centimetres too large.
The permanent terrace outside the Cafe Entre-Deux on Sherbrooke Street West had been previously approved, but Marc Flynn said this year, his permit was rejected.
"We reapplied for the same terrace we had two years in a row, that was fine. We sent the same plans, basically, and this year, we are getting told that it's three inches too long."
Cafe Entre-Deux has a permanent terrace on Sherbrooke Street W. (Source: Google Street View)
Replacing the railing will cost the restaurant $5,000, according to Flynn. He said the city no longer allows wood on the structure, despite the majority of the terraces along Sherbrooke containing at least some wood.
"They said tempered glass or welded metals, we have metal, but it's not welded," he said.
He said he tried negotiating with the city but the process is slow and terrace season is only three weeks away.
"The first week of terrace is where you make the most sales in your summer because people are coming out of winter. It's warm. Terrace season, for a restaurant, it's our biggest season, it's when we make our money and then we keep that money for the winter," Flynn said.
"We lose money all winter just to survive to get back to summer when we can open the terrace again."
NDG city councillor Peter McQueen told CTV News he's working to find a solution and thinks the restaurant should be allowed to keep its existing terrace.
"We all have rules and I don't think he's breaking them in any major way, but the job of the services is to enforce the rules, so it's normal that there would be some back-and-forth on this and I think we can move hopefully towards a solution," McQueen said.
But in a city that boasts about its food culture, for Flynn, it seems like there's always a roadblock or a distraction.
"We don't feel like we're backed up by the city," the cafe owner said.
"We feel like there are so many rules that you've got to abide by, which is fine, but then you're like, yes, no problem and they come up with something new every year that makes our job more difficult."
After CTV News reached out to the city services, the borough mayor's office confirmed the restaurant can apply for special authorization to keep its existing terrace and the city does not plan to remove the structure.
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