Quidi Vidi pub owner says restaurant customers hurting her business

Daniel
Daniel MacEachern
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The owner of a Quidi Vidi pub says inconsiderate customers of Mallard Cottage are hurting her business.

Linda Hennebury, owner of the Inn of Olde on Quidi Vidi Road, says she complained to St. John’s Coun. Jonathan Galgay on the weekend after she became fed up with Mallard Cottage customers parking in her lot and leaving their vehicles there, sometimes all night — and says she’s been verbally harassed when she’s asked people who aren’t visiting the pub to move their cars out of her lot.

“They’re dressed up like Sunday school and dressed up to the nines, and they got the mouths of vipers,” she said. “I have a business. I’m down here for 38 years, and I have a store here for 11. I’m a businessperson for 40 years, and I don’t have to take this.”

Galgay raised the issue at city council’s regular Monday night meeting, saying residents are being blocked in their driveways. He accused the previous council of poor judgment for allowing the recently restored Mallard Cottage to open with just two parking spots.

Other councillors defended the decision, saying it was necessary to allow the parking exemption — establishments normally need one parking spot for every five square metres of space.

Mallard Cottage owner and chef Todd Perrin said he hasn’t heard any complaints from Quidi Vidi residents, but acknowledged Hennebury has complained to him about his patrons using her lot.

Perrin said he’s asked his

customers to respect the neighbourhood, and he’s disappointed Galgay raised the issue without talking

to him.

“We’ve tried to do what we can to mitigate the parking situation down there,” Perrin told The Telegram on Monday. “We don’t have a parking lot, and frankly I’m a believer that the last thing that Quidi Vidi Village needs is a big parking lot down in the middle of it.”

Hennebury says her regular customers have told her they’re not coming as often because it’s difficult to get parking spots.

“They calls me and tells me, ‘We went down, we can’t get in, there’s no place to park,’” she said. “Council’s not doing their part. There’s no-parking signs from Todd Perrin’s up, down, around everywhere: no-parking signs. And there’s no one ticketed.”

Hennebury says she’s called the police, and towing companies, which won’t remove vehicles from her lot. “They told me I’d get a big fine, they’ll get a big fine,” she said. “It’s police discretion to get them towed, but I can get them ticketed.”

Hennebury said it’s not just her business she’s concerned about, but the safety of nearby residents.

“There’s one lady sick all the time, and if they need an ambulance or a fire truck over there, there’s no way they’re going to get them out, because we’re barred in,” she said. “You can’t get in, you can’t get out.”

Galgay said at Monday night’s meeting he’d be meeting with Quidi Vidi residents Tuesday. On Tuesday he told The Telegram the meeting will happen next week, but he planned to go door-to-door meeting residents in Quidi Vidi on Tuesday. City council has asked city staff to study area traffic.

Organizations: Inn of Olde, The Telegram

Geographic location: Quidi Vidi Road, Quidi Vidi Village

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Recent comments

  • david
    February 27, 2014 - 10:27

    Only in Newfoundland could a case of someone having their basic private property rights, their longstanding business put in jeopardy, and their quality of life affected be turned into an opportunity to spew unrelated bile, anonymous insults and thin-skinned attacks. This thread is a real testament to the 'real' Newfoundland...a land of inbred ignorance spun in TV ads as charm.and celebrated as 'culture'. World class alright. World class.

  • a regular
    February 27, 2014 - 10:02

    Firstly, STOP THE FIGHTING.. Most people who are going down to Mallard want to do the loop. Check out the brewery, dine at Mallard Cottage, drink at the Inn. Stop driving customers away with the negativity. I've been to Mallard Cottage several times now, and after every meal we try to go to the Inn of Olde. It hats been closed all but one time. The one time it was open a crowd of us went. Full and happy bellies, excited to go across the street to have a few more drinks, laugh, tell jokes and just be merry. I get up to the bar, all smiles, having a chat with Linda. All is pleasant., she's happy we're there. The minute I tell her we've all just come from MC, she BARKS at me that we should have all stayed over across the street. I thought it was ridiculous but I know what Linda can be like now and then so I just brushed it off. That was the first time at the Inn that I've ever felt unwelcome and a distinct coldness. After one drink I left and I'm sad to say I haven't been back since. At Mallard on the other hand, it's warm, happy, welcoming service every time. I used to go to the Inn every time we'd hike signal hill and the cove and I looked forward to going more when I go down to MC, but I feel like as long as I'm a customer across the way, Linda will be negative and I will be unwelcome. My friends and I aren't those "dressed to the nines" people either. We make enough to get by, pay our bills, rent, loans etc. and if there's a little left over at the end of the day, we'll treat ourselves to affordable and incredible food. It'd be nice if we could cap that off with a beer across the street without judgement!

  • Aimee
    February 27, 2014 - 07:54

    This is so sad to me. I think the world of both Linda and Todd. They both are very important to the spark and delight of the Gut. Linda has been keeping Quidi Vidi alive for years, and Todd has recently breathed new life in. I've not heard anything disparaging about Todd directly, but some of the customers that come out of there have been absolutely shocking in their behaviour towards Linda. That is not just Linda's business -- it's also her home. Her residence. Yesterday was anti-bullying day. The amount of bullying and disrespect she has suffered at this is unreal. She is a 70-yr-old woman -- a widow and breast cancer survivor besides. The people harassing her over access to her own private property -- they can afford the price of the gourmet food and drink at Mallard Cottage, but apparently can't afford the kindness and respect to Linda and the Inn of Olde. Linda is a bright and sparkling human being that has been through Hell and back in her life -- hasn't she earned a little human kindness?

    • Andrew
      February 28, 2014 - 06:11

      Aimee, I must say having kept an eye on this story and the comments that this is by far my favourite. Linda is a fantastic soul. God love her for going through so much and still keeping that big grin on her face when you walk in. I'm in no way a regular, but I do enjoy the occasional trip to the Inn. Even though it can be stretches of months between visits she always recognizes me and gives me a hug. Hell, I've even gone for a beer and ended up going up inside the house to fix her internet issues and carry out a treadmill for bulk garbage (an interesting trip for sure haha). I'd like to see both businesses continue their success, but it hurts me to hear/see people talking so negatively about either one. I haven't been to Mallard Cottage, but it does sound like somewhere to try for a change (I will be taking a taxi there for sure by the way). I just hope things can get sorted out before too much more bad blood is brewed.

  • Mike
    February 26, 2014 - 19:49

    If I'm not mistaken isn't there already a huge parking lot across from the Mallard Cottage? The old Flake House building seems empty. Any way the people at Mallard Cottage can get access to this lot.

  • Mike
    February 26, 2014 - 19:48

    If I'm not mistaken isn't there already a huge parking lot across from the Mallard Cottage? The old Flake House building seems empty. Any way the people at Mallard Cottage can get access to this lot.

  • Glenn Stockley
    February 26, 2014 - 17:28

    "guy incognito"....what a coward.....

    • Guy incognito
      February 27, 2014 - 05:03

      "Glenn Stockley".......what a thoughtful statement, a little off topic.... "Glen stockley"....dumb move using your real name on here "Glen stockley".....guy incognito = Simpsons character

  • Thomas
    February 26, 2014 - 14:45

    I agree, she seems jealous by the comment about being dressed up to the nines and with mouths like vipers. I guess she is jealous because the economy is booming, but her bar just has the same old clientele.

  • Churchill
    February 26, 2014 - 13:45

    My only question is, why does a bar need parking spots?

    • david
      February 26, 2014 - 14:16

      I know what you're hinting at...but there's probably just as many or more drunks pulling into a Sobey's lot on a Tuesday morning. It is Newfoundland.

  • Brett
    February 26, 2014 - 13:44

    If the pub has private parking I don't see why they can't issue tickets, or have tickets issued and force validation for parking. The parking lot is private property. I'm not sure about that "not allowed to tow" ruling. It should be no different than if someone parked in my driveway. You can definitely ticket and it's news to me that you can't tow. As to opening up a restaurant without any parking - that's not the best idea. I know people in NL don't think about it - but 2 parking spots for a restaurant that seats how many people??? If there isn't on street parking that can easily handle the load of the restaurant it's a problem. A possible solution would be for the pub owner to rent her parking lot to the restaurant or to charge for parking and validate at her pub. I'm sure it's an irritating problem, but it's not like she couldn't have complained over a year ago when the application for the restaurant to be put in came up. I know the city mails all that stuff out.

    • Robert
      February 26, 2014 - 17:01

      All is needed is one simple rule! No building permit will be issued until it can be shown that there will be adequate parking provided. It is totally wonderful that there is so much development all over but I will never understand why parking is never part of it!

  • Dolf
    February 26, 2014 - 13:31

    David, who turned you loose this time? Can't rely on a padlock these days. So who exactly is Galgay (Steve Kent clone) concerned about here, surely not those newfound Quidi Vidi liviers.

    • david
      February 26, 2014 - 14:06

      Good contribution.

    • Dolf
      February 26, 2014 - 15:34

      So take the contribution as a gift and get lost.

  • Doug
    February 26, 2014 - 13:29

    I live in Quidi Vidi, just up the street from this area. Parking is an issue no matter where you go in Quidi Vidi. I think Linda has let her real feelings come out when talking about people dressed to the nines. She is jealous of people who are doing far better, something all too common in Newfoundland. Having been there most weekends for 3 months, I have never seen a car blocking a driveway. This is just a case of Quidi Vidi folk feeling left out on a good time. It used to be there little village, but the times have changed, and they best get used to it.

    • Guy Incognito
      February 26, 2014 - 14:09

      "This is just a case of Quidi Vidi folk feeling left out on a good time" Brilliant observation. Did you come up with that yourself?

  • Allison
    February 26, 2014 - 12:05

    I think that using that space for a restaurant is a great idea. I do believe that parking should have been addressed prior to that. No question. The fact is the roads in the gut are narrow as it is - parking along the side is not an option. I've been to both the Inn of Olde many many times, as well as to Mallard Cottage. Both do great things for the area. You're not having people causing a ruckus at the inn like you would at many other single placed liquor licensed establishments, and nor do you have them at Mallard. I've actually left mallard and went to the inn for a few drinks before heading home (I live in walking distance). I do hope a resolution can be found to solve this as I would hate to lose either of these places. In the mean time I strongly suggest any home or business owner to contact 311 to address illegally parked cars.

    • david
      February 26, 2014 - 12:55

      Your solution to the fact there's not enough parking is to have innocent victims spend their free time calling the cops, wait for them to show up ----- then get the quite predictable Newfoundland booze-emboldened treatment of vulgar abuse hurled at them, possibly vandalism. In case you missed it, that's exactly where this person is at right now.......after 40+ years of paying taxes and obeying the law.

    • Allison
      February 26, 2014 - 14:16

      David, it's quite clear you are against Mallard based on all your comments. I'm suggesting using the city hall enforcement, not the police. Please try and maintain a neutral stance if you want to be taken seriously.

  • Fine Diner
    February 26, 2014 - 11:13

    It's an arse backward process from the start. No - they won't tow your car. As for the ticket - one less glass of wine during the meal covers the cost of that. Council fooled up - big time. If it were my driveway the tools were parking across...well I won't go there cause I'm a law abiding person. Kings Bridge Tire Service would be getting some business.

  • wayne
    February 26, 2014 - 10:56

    The solution for the pub in the village is not too hard. Get a local teenager to to babysit their parking lot with their cell phone. When somebody parks and goes to the restaurant, take a picture of the car with the license plate visible. Call 311. Or buy some parking clamps and clamp the offenders cars

    • david
      February 26, 2014 - 12:46

      That isn't 'simple' at all....'simple' is not allowing it to occur. But the "simple-tons' at City hall can't foresee or be bothered to enforce 'simple'...they prefer cash.

    • Brett
      February 26, 2014 - 13:47

      It is up to the citizens to raise concerns when the application of the business in a residential area comes in. It's not the best business plan either to create friction in the neighbourhood you are going in to. Although likely it is a couple people causing problems (ie. business owner that is not taking advantage of the new clientele). She could probably upgrade her place and use it as a place to drink prior or post dinner for the cottage.

  • susan
    February 26, 2014 - 10:33

    I find this very amusing! Mrs. Hennebury is obviously craving media attention because she was on Newfoundland Paranormal saturday night talking to her dead husband! I think this can be easily solved without going to the media. She can easily have parking passes for her customers and discuss the issue with Todd like an adult!

    • Happily Retired
      February 26, 2014 - 11:01

      Oh yeah, let's start blaming the victim. She was there long before the restaurant and there weren't any problems. Don't be so cruel and petty, her dead husband has nothing to do with this. Furthermore the other neighbours are also being inconvenienced. But, I guess that's irrelevant as long as Doc's nephew has free rein. If your post is any way related to the restaurant owner's opinion, I will never frequent that establishment.

    • david
      February 26, 2014 - 11:03

      So....Mr. Perrin is 'Todd'. And that other "point" is really something.....all in all, a compelling addition to the debate.

    • Huh??
      February 26, 2014 - 13:05

      LMAO, Susan, what does that woman being on Newfoundland Paranormal have ANYTHING to do with this subject?? OMG!!

    • Happily Retired
      February 26, 2014 - 16:13

      david, And your posts are really compelling additions to the debate. Have you nothing to do but hurl snide, insulting comments at everybody. Your obvious contempt for others says far more about you than anybody else. Please consider some counselling. It might even help you.

  • Thomas
    February 26, 2014 - 10:25

    Park by the lake and then get your vehicle broken into! Sounds great to me.

  • Thomas
    February 26, 2014 - 10:20

    Perhaps your attitude is bringing this negative reaction your way. Perhaps try to be more tactful and that may help. Best of luck, but I won't be at your bar by the sounds of you on here.

    • Guy Incognito
      February 26, 2014 - 10:41

      Sounds to me like she tried to be tactful ...she tried to talk to the owner and the customers....maybe you should read the article again......BTW, I'm sure she will miss your business........by the sounds of you on here....

  • Just a thought
    February 26, 2014 - 09:02

    I wonder if the owner can give a parking permit to their customers that park on her property as it would only take a minute to put a sign in the car window and should people who are abusing the parking get their vehicles towed or ticketed? I have that issue with people who park in the spot that I rent and I am told that I have the right to have any vehicle that doesn't have my permission to get towed away. Just a thought!

  • david
    February 26, 2014 - 08:58

    "....and frankly I’m a believer that the last thing that Quidi Vidi Village needs is a big parking lot down in the middle of it......" No, the "last" thing QV needs is for an irresponsible business person to collude with a council of development hillbillies to impose unreasonable but predictable hardship on law-abiding neighbours. And don't hide behind the pretense of keeping QV "pristine" while you whore it out for a few bucks. It's pathetic.

  • carogers
    February 26, 2014 - 08:50

    The problem of rude drivers sticking their car anywhere they please seems to be a new St. John's trend. I am living downtown 53 years every second day some selfish person parks across my driveway. And yes they are ignorant when you ask them to move their vehicle. It is as if they feel entitled and you can just go to hell.

  • Guy Incognito
    February 26, 2014 - 08:07

    The plot thickens..... What do you haev to say about this today Doc?

  • James
    February 26, 2014 - 07:06

    Todd Perrin and Mallard Cottage are not above the law. The owner of the Inn of Olde and the public have tools to punish those who park incorrectly - it is called the law. Call Traffic Enforcement at 311 and the cars will be ticketed and towed away at the car owner's expense.Traffic enforcement is not a RNC responsibility inside City limits. Towing companies cannot tow vehicles without a traffic enforcement request. So call Traffic Enforcement at 311. If they do nothing - then you go publicly after the City Council to explain why it plays favouristes when the law is supposed to be equally applied to everyone. Mallard Cottage and its patrons are subject to the law just like everyone else.

    • John
      February 26, 2014 - 12:36

      Well said James. You are absolutely right, this is not an RNC concern. Every time St.John's has a concern or issue about enforcement they run to the RNC, yet they have their own traffic and enforcement division. Typical city, run to some other organization and let them deal with it. I'm quite sure the RNC can use their resources for a better purpose than running to Quidi Vidi every hour. It would appear that Galgay has another set besides the ones he sees with, more than you can say about most of them on council!

    • carogers
      February 26, 2014 - 20:37

      James one would think that should be the answer, but calling 311 gets you nowhere. The tow truck company will not remove the cars. "Hennebury says she’s called the police, and towing companies, which won’t remove vehicles from her lot." This is also a problem in other areas where cars block the road and the Metro Bus cannot get through. It is a serious problem of public safety. If a bus cannot get through a fire truck also cannot get through.

  • Christine
    February 26, 2014 - 06:12

    O The Inn of Olde where my husband had Romeo Dallaire screeched in back in the 90's!! Any snaps of that Linda??? I remember my husband telling me when he came home how you said, Oh Romeo, Romeo....! Priceless.

  • Ignorant Patrons
    February 26, 2014 - 06:10

    One patron parked across my driveway, I went to the restaurant and the culprit was located. I endured verbal abuse and was told I should have taken a taxi instead of my own car! Next time I dial 311 and the car is towed and impounded.

  • Cindy
    February 26, 2014 - 05:38

    I was down there on the weekend and no doubt parking is an issue. However, I would never park on another person's /business's property. I find the comment They’re dressed up like Sunday school and dressed up to the nines, and they got the mouths of vipers,” mildy amusing. I feel like she has more of an issue with the demographics of the clientele than anything. I also have concerns with "regulars" to a pub looking for a place to park... makes me wonder if they really should be driving! All that being said, I do understand where this business owner is coming from. But I also think Mallard Cottage is fabulous and a wonderful idea to contribute to the revitalization to the oldest city in North America so I hope they do find some resolution to the parking issues! We parked over by tanks closer to Pleasantville and walked over.

    • bt
      February 26, 2014 - 07:33

      Cindy, don't tell me that the patrons of Mallard cottage don't have a drink or two with their meal. I've been there and I'll tell you from experience that with that kind of meal, you don't order wine by the glass. Maybe you and the other patrons should be leaving your cars home too.

    • Guy Incognito
      February 26, 2014 - 08:43

      Pretentious people. A fabulous and wonderful idea to contribute to the revitilization of the oldest city in North America? It's a restaurant, not an art gallery......

    • Jay
      February 26, 2014 - 09:06

      Cindy, The Inn of Olde is not the cause of the parking problem here, it's the new restaurant. Please stop shifting blame, especially when you don't know what you're talking about. Do you know that regulars to the pub are leaving and then driving impaired? Do you have some kind of a breathalyser machine, or are you just making unsubstantiated charges? What about when the patrons of the restaurant block off individual homeowners. I guess from your perspective that the homeowner is at fault.The owner of the restaurant has a responsibility to provide adequate parking which doesn't inconvenience the people already living there. He clearly didn't do that and council, clearly, didn't care either. I certainly won't be going to that restaurant.

    • Cindy
      February 26, 2014 - 09:32

      Actually I was there at 11am for brunch and had water with my meal thank you. I for one never drink and drive. When I go out to dinner or a night out, I do take a taxi but thanks for your concern. And I am not disputing the parking issue. We had difficulty to find a place to park as well. I just don't like the way the patrons of Mallard Cottage are stereotyped by Mrs. Hennebury. I for one respected her property, which had an empty parking lot at 11am, and parked further away and walked to the restaurant as stated. FYI... everybody who goes to nice restaurants is not "pretentious". Anyway, I hope they come to a resolution for the parking issue and everybody is happy and all businesses benefit from the increased traffic in the area.