Harbour restaurants to share giant propane tank

Daniel MacEachern
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City approves Keg proposal, but two councillors say ‘no tank you’

Three harbourfront restaurants are getting a supersized propane tank, called “ugly” by one councillor, who warned that the city will face public criticism over the decision.

New construction next to The Keg

The application from The Keg to remove 12 existing propane tanks to be replaced with one 5,000-gallon tank to be used by The Keg and the two neighbouring restaurants Jack Astors and Legros & Motti under construction was approved by council at its regular Monday meeting, with Ward 2 Coun. Jonathan Galgay and Ward 4 Coun. Bernard Davis voting against it.

“Personally, I think it’s ridiculous. I don’t think it fits well,” said Galgay at the meeting. “I think it’s quite ugly, and I think that this council, if it proceeds to allow that, be prepared to face some public criticism. You went through it before with the harbour fence, and now a propane tank. I’ve travelled quite a bit, Your Worship, and I’m sure that there are other jurisdictions in the country and around the world that have faced these issues that have come up with something a little more unique.”

At-large Coun. Tom Hann, chairman of the planning and development committee recommending approval, noted that approval is conditional upon the painting of a mural on the structure as well the planting of a tree screen to help conceal the tank.

Davis was also opposed to the proposal, as the harbour is what greets tourists coming in through the Narrows.

“It’s the entrance to our downtown and Harbour Drive,” he said.

“I think there’s got to be a better result than a

33-foot-high propane tank greeting you as you enter Harbour Drive.”

Galgay is also skeptical of the tree screen.

“You can’t even grow a weed on the harbour apron,” he said.

But Ward 1 Coun. Danny Breen said there were other options looked at, but the large propane tank was the most suitable, and he challenged Galgay to come up with a better one.

“It’s not perfect. Nobody wants to have a propane tank there. But it’s going to be necessary, if you have some suggestions for us on how we can deal with this, we can have that discussion as we move forward.”

Mayor Dennis O’Keefe noted the harbour is “a working port” that blends in history and heritage.

“Given that reality, then yeah, you think outside the box. And I think the owners of The Keg are thinking outside the box. They’re not just saying we’re going to put a few vines up here and a little tree down here.”

O’Keefe said The Keg owners will also hire landscapers to integrate the tank into what will become the harbour walkway.

“They have a terrific interest in making their property as attractive as they can possibly make it, because they’re in business, and they realize that being in the restaurant business, bringing hundreds, thousands of people down every year, they have to have an attractive premises.”

Following the meeting, Galgay said he’s not an expert on propane tanks, but believes The Keg could have come up with a better solution if council had rejected the 33-foot tank.

“If we turned that down tonight, I don’t think the Keg or the other properties that have been proposed are going to shut down,” he said.

“What happens if Sundance decides they need extra propane? Are we going to put a propane tank on the corner of New Gower Street? What the council’s done tonight has set a bad standard.”


Council has approved an application to allow Lester Farms to build greenhouse-style structures near Pearltown Road to house fish tanks to raise tilapia. Nutrients produced from fish waste will be used as fertilizer to grow vegetables and fish will be sold whole to the public, with no processing.


Twenty-one disputed square metres in a proposed townhouse development on Nunnery Hill isn’t enough of a problem to prevent the developer from going ahead. Council had previously deferred the application from RDG Holdings after Republic Properties, which owns the property next to the proposed development, claims that a three-metre-by-seven-metre portion of the proposed development lies on their land. But at-large Coun. Tom Hann said even if Republic Properties successfully claims the land, the loss of that portion won’t affect the development, giving council no reason not to give the project the go-ahead.


Twitter: @TelegramDaniel

Organizations: RDG Holdings

Geographic location: New Gower Street, Pearltown Road

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Recent comments

  • California Pete from NFLD
    December 03, 2013 - 12:05

    Go for it. Then next time a cruse ship coms in explain to the tourist's that it was the city councils decision to put that eyesore there and welcome to the wondeful old downtown. Have a nice day and enjoy the view.

  • Billy
    December 03, 2013 - 11:12

    I wouldn't worry about visitors impressions of that tank as they enter the harbour through the narrows, they'll be overwhelmed and stunned by the monstrosity that is the parking garage for Atlantic Place.

  • Angela
    December 03, 2013 - 08:12

    It's great to see City Hall helping businesses and the local economy. The Keg has become an enormous success and I'm sure the other restaurants will do well also. I'm sure that the Keg won't have a giant ugly rusty tank made visible, it is their business. They want it to look good. Geez, it looks much better than the ugly old abandoned buildings across the street that were falling down for decades. Great to see our local economy get a boost.

  • Paul
    December 03, 2013 - 08:07

    The Keg could have gone with 4 or 5 8oo lb propane tanks which only stand about 4 feet high. They are available at North Atlantic Petroleum, Irving, Superior and others propane companies.

  • dontgetmestarted
    December 03, 2013 - 07:55

    Wonderful, a giant tampon on the waterfront.

  • Joe
    December 03, 2013 - 07:45

    The City needs to get rid of these older senile councillors who won't be around in ten years to see the poor job they are doing.

  • Brian Carey
    December 03, 2013 - 07:38

    Why don't they just put up another fence so we can see that too!

  • sc
    December 03, 2013 - 07:16

    The downtown and harbour area are already eyesores so adding another one won't really matter. The city has never cared what the area looks like or how appealing people might find it. The tank may well get painted once (as if that'll obscure the fact that it's still a propane tank) but the paint will soon flake off, the tank will start rusting, and it'll just be yet another eyesore to add to all the rest. That's considered 'progress' here in St. John's.