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

Police watchdog investigating after pedestrian struck and killed in Surrey

IIO investigating after male killed in crash shortly after being released from police custody

Surrey Mounties say 40 intoxicated teens found on ‘party bus’ in Newton

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Strawberry Hill

PHOTOS: Players putt their way to Las Vegas at Surrey MSOP tournament

Two-day regional qualifier held at Eaglequest Coyote Creek

Electric car-share company to bring 2,000 vehicles to Surrey/White Rock

SUMO is to launch next year with 150 vehicles, and increase to 2,000 by 2022

B.C. cabinet minister denies that Surrey mayor’s friend attended government meeting

Surrey councillor questions Vancouver businessman Bob Cheema’s involvement in official meeting

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

Defense says burden of proof not met in double murder case against Victoria father

Closing statements begin in trial for man accused of killing daughters Christmas 2017

B.C. dog breeder banned again after 46 dogs seized

The SPCA seized the animals from Terry Baker, 66, in February 2018

Three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Vancouver police could be using drones to fight crime by end of year

The police department has already purchased three drones, as well as three others for training

Grand opening of Molson Coors Fraser Valley Brewery at Chilliwack cause for celebration

Ribbon-cutting with dignitaries, Molson brass and family marked the official grand opening

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Powder the muskets, zombies are coming!

Fort Langley National Historic Site offers up A Survivalist’s Guide to a Zombie Apocalypse, Sept. 28

Most Read

l -->