Top News

Charlottetown restaurant owner hopes city will allow pergola to go back up

The pergola that had been erected around the outdoor deck at Fishbones Seafood House and Oyster Bar on Victoria Row in Charlottetown has been taken down following an order from the city. The restaurant didn’t have the proper permit to proceed but is now in talks with council and various city departments in an attempt to put it back up. Dave Stewart/The Guardian
The pergola that had been erected around the outdoor deck at Fishbones Seafood House and Oyster Bar on Victoria Row in Charlottetown has been taken down following an order from the city. The restaurant didn’t have the proper permit to proceed but is now in talks with council and various city departments in an attempt to put it back up. Dave Stewart/The Guardian - Dave Stewart

Kevin Murphy is the first to admit they didn’t follow proper process before erecting pergola but says he has every intention on putting it back up

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

The owner of a Charlottetown restaurant hasn’t given up on trying to provide more shade for the patrons who sit outside.

Kevin Murphy is quick to acknowledge that they jumped the gun too quickly in putting up a pergola outside Fishbones Seafood House and Oyster Bar on Victoria Row.

The City of Charlottetown recently ordered the restaurant to take it down because the restaurant didn’t have a permit, and Murphy complied.

“I have to plead guilty, first, that we basically did it without a permit so right now we’ve re-applied and we’re just waiting to hear (back) to get that approval,’’ Murphy said.

Murphy noted he didn’t think a permit was necessary because the structure was a temporary one, to go up when it was fit to sit outside and come down in the fall.

A pergola is a four-sided structure with lattice work over the top. Usually, plants or hanging vines are hung from the top to provide a bit of shade for those sitting underneath.

This photo on Fishbones’ Facebook page shows what the pergola looked like before the City of Charlottetown ordered the restaurant to take it down. The restaurant put it up to try and provide some shade for customers sitting outside but did so without the proper permit from the city.
This photo on Fishbones’ Facebook page shows what the pergola looked like before the City of Charlottetown ordered the restaurant to take it down. The restaurant put it up to try and provide some shade for customers sitting outside but did so without the proper permit from the city.

Murphy said that’s exactly why they put up the pergola — to try to create some shade for patrons sitting outside.

“We lost our trees there two years ago when the city took down the diseased elm trees. It made a lot of sense. It was a beautiful structure, but we went about it a little wrong. At the end of the day, we should have asked for a permit and go the proper route.’’

Murphy is meeting with officials from the police, fire, public works and planning departments this week in an effort to go about things the right way and get the pergola back up.

Alex Forbes, manager of the city’s planning department, said when it comes to the outdoor patios all of the businesses on Victoria Row operate on the city’s right-of-way.

“Even before they can apply for a permit they need to get permission (from council) to have that type of structure on that right-of-way on that location,’’ Forbes said. “There are rules and regulations that govern Victoria Row, and a pergola was not anticipated at the time they put those rules and regulations in. They were on the city’s right-of-way without permission and, on top of that, without (building) permits.’’

Murphy has appealed to council, asking that if he and the various city departments can work things out, if the pergola would be permitted.

It’s certainly possible that if the pergola is allowed to go up, it may look slightly different than the previous structure, depending on what officials from the various departments have to say.

Murphy said there shouldn’t be a problem.

“Our plan is to have it up for this summer,’’ Murphy said. “We don’t see an issue with it. We don’t see how it (negatively) impacts anything.’’

Twitter.com/DveStewart


Have your say

Want to wade into the debate? Write a letter to the editor and email it to letters@theguardian.pe.ca. Be sure to include a name, address and daytime telephone number where the author can be contacted. Letters should be no more than 250 words.


On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend The Guardian?


Recent Stories