Fredericton restaurant hopes to expand lighthouse patio to include riverfront seating

·2 min read
540 Kitchen and Bar first operated an outdoor pub at the lighthouse near St. Anne's Point Drive last year, which Fredericton city staff say was a success. (Fredericton Homeless Shelters/Facebook - image credit)
540 Kitchen and Bar first operated an outdoor pub at the lighthouse near St. Anne's Point Drive last year, which Fredericton city staff say was a success. (Fredericton Homeless Shelters/Facebook - image credit)

A seasonal outdoor pub in downtown Fredericton is planning to make a return this year, and the proponents are hoping to be able to seat patrons right along the St. John River bank.

Fredericton city council voted Monday to grant a licence for 540 Kitchen and Bar Inc. to expand its operation at the lighthouse near St. Anne's Point Drive to include a portion of land on the other side of the paved trail, adjacent to the river.

The proposal still requires a temporary use variance from the city's planning advisory committee, which will consider the application at a meeting next Wednesday, said city spokesperson Wayne Knorr.

According to a staff report, 540 Kitchen and Bar operated the restaurant at the lighthouse for the first time last year.

"By most accounts, the operation at the Lighthouse was a good success, generating the first significant traffic at the location in several years … including users of the [active transportation] trail running adjacent to the site," the report says.

"However, according to representatives from 540, there were challenges with seating/service area; given that there is no interior dining area, service is therefore limited to a single patio that did not have sufficient seating capacity."

The staff report says the company approached the city this spring about using the area adjacent to the leased property in order to expand seating.

City of Fredericton
City of Fredericton

The area would be cordoned off using temporary materials that can be moved prior to being threatened by spring water levels.

"From a staff perspective, this is an interesting opportunity to further activate the waterfront, which has seen increased use and attention in recent years (especially during COVID when people were looking for outdoor activities to safely enjoy).

"As the licence and use variance are time limited to one year, this affords an opportunity to test the demand for waterfront activities; this experience will help inform future decision making as it relates to animating the City's trademark waterfront in the future."

The city will license the piece of land to 540 Kitchen and Bar for a dollar. The company will be responsible for any maintenance, such as grass cutting.

The agreement also sees that the city be indemnified of any liability, with 540 required to carry insurance.

540 Kitchen and Bar did not respond to a request for more information about its plan for the lighthouse.

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