West Beach Bar and Grill goes mobile.

White Rock restaurateurs take bite of city bid

An invitation to enhance White Rock’s waterfront with food carts caught the interest of a dozen Marine Drive restaurateurs.

An invitation to enhance the experience of visitors to White Rock’s waterfront by way of food carts caught the interest of a dozen Marine Drive restaurateurs.

And at least three of the four businesses that have taken all the steps – including obtaining a permit from Fraser Health – to actually operate the carts on the promenade are optimistic it is a venture that will catch on.

“We thought we’d try it,” said Charlie Montgomery, owner of Montgomery’s Cottage Lunch on East Beach. “It could prove out to be OK.

“On the (July 1) holiday, when all the other booths were going on… it just took off.”

The idea to introduce the food carts stemmed from a suggestion made during last year’s community forum on the waterfront. Putting it into play required amendments to the city’s official community plan to allow commerce south of Marine Drive. Those amendments were finalized in early May, and interested operators had until the end of that month to apply for one of 16 available sites.

They can offer food, beverage and/or ice cream service through Oct. 15.

Montgomery said the success of his cart – which offers such items as potato chips, freezies, water and pop – is dependent on the weather, and he plans to have it up and running on the weekends, “when the sun comes out.”

Jimmy Flynn’s Celtic Snug is also running a cart, offering wraps and drinks.

Cook Mitchell Halley said beverages have been the biggest seller so far, and that the venture is “doing really well.”

Lucy Muir of Look Watts Cooking said the experience for her has also been positive. Set-up costs were reasonable, and while sales haven’t been brisk, there have been plenty of opportunities to network and let more people know about the business she runs with her mother, Liz Watts.

“Everybody thought it was a good idea,” she said.

Keeping the competition at bay was another motivation for getting involved, Muir said.

“I can’t have somebody else standing 20 feet from my shop selling sandwiches.”

Paul Stanton, White Rock’s director of development services, said a lack of electricity for the sites limited what operators could offer.

“We explained to them… we’re not set up for power and we don’t have a budget to put power in, so make the best of it you can this year, we’ll see how it goes,” Stanton said. “We also advised some of them, ‘don’t start spending a whole lot of money on equipment until you see whether it’s going to generate any revenue for you.’”

Stanton said the city has fielded only one complaint about the food carts, from a restaurateur worried the carts would take business away from the waterfront establishments and generate more costs for the city.

Questions were briefly raised when a cart bearing a Washington State licence plate set up shop on the promenade. Stanton said it was quickly determined that the owner, who purchased the cart in the U.S., simply hadn’t changed its registration.

If the pilot project is deemed a success this summer, the city will look into the possibility of making the cart sites more permanent, including adding power, he said.


Just Posted

White Rock Titans win ‘dog fight’ for B.C. junior bantam football title

Semiahmoo Peninsula youth football team defeats Chilliwack 26-22 in final game

YVR wants rapid transit connections to Surrey, White Rock improved

In Transport 2050 report, airport authority states it would like to see Canada Line extended to the south

Surrey fugitive captured in California was motivated by revenge, $160,000: court documents

Brandon Teixeira, charged with murder, wants to return to Canada ‘as soon as possible,’ says lawyer

VIDEO: Tsumura Basketball Invitational begins at the Langley Events Centre

Top teams clash in event billed as preview of provincials

VIDEO: A brief history of bumps in the Trudeau-Trump relationship

Remember Peter Navarro saying ‘there’s a special place in hell’ for a foreign leader who aims to cheat?

Half of shoppers say they have no holiday spending budget

B.C. consumers surveyed estimate they will spend $921 this season

University of the Fraser Valley union demands free menstrual products for staff, students

Petition calls it a human rights issue, asks for products at Chilliwack/Abbotsford campus washrooms

Man killed in crash due to ‘absolutely treacherous’ conditions on Coquihalla

Winter means icy roads are dangerous and drivers should be careful, RCMP say

Bag of cocaine left in B.C. grocery store aisle

RCMP: ‘We sure would like to talk to’ person who left drugs behind

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

The Crown is seeking four to six years federal time; the defence wants 18 months in provincial jail

RCMP officer was justified using hose in rooftop standoff: B.C. watchdog

Police watchdog finds officers actions reasonable when man injured in 2018 incident

Cannabis ice cream? Province prepares for B.C. Bud edibles

Mike Farnworth’s special police unit takes down dispensaries

Union for parole officers at B.C. halfway house says public safety at risk

Increase in parole officers’ workload dealing with highest-risk offenders raises concern

Most Read

l -->