Quidi Vidi pub owner says restaurant customers hurting her business

Daniel MacEachern dmaceachern@thetelegram.com
Published on February 26, 2014

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.