While several stakeholders indicated earlier this week that Marine Drive one-way project is so far running smoothly, the owner of a popular fish-and-chips restaurant says it is hampering business because it has “killed” foot traffic.
Moby Dick Restaurant owner Yuriy Makogonsky contacted Peace Arch News to take issue with recent coverage of the one-way project, in which stakeholders summarized that Father’s Day was a money-maker for restaurants, and traffic was not as bad as some people expected.
“I assure you that the real picture is not that bright,” Makogonsky emailed PAN. “My customers are pissed off.”
Makogonsky shared with PAN a bad review his restaurant received from a customer who expressed frustration with the detour routes required to access East Beach from the east end.
If people driving to White Rock wish to visit East Beach, they need to travel Marine Drive from West Beach to east.
He said the inconvenience for guests has reduced foot traffic.
“The East Beach relies on take-out and what they did with Marine Drive is they killed foot traffic. Now… less and less customers are willing to reach East Beach,” Makogonsky said.
As for the busy Father’s Day, which saw restaurant patios and waterfront parking lots full, Makogonsky said parking lots were “not as full as they usually used to be.” He also said it took him about 30 minutes to drive from West Beach to East Beach that afternoon.
“I parked on Marine Drive and I easily found parking. That’s unprecedented because it would take like five rounds, or 10 rounds just looking for a parking stall. What was happening on Father’s Day is my restaurant was half full,” he said.
Makogonsky said his take-out sales are 50 per cent lower than what they were prior to the one-way coming into effect June 7.
He said he talked to a ice cream shop owner on East Beach who is in the same situation.
“They don’t know what to do because there’s no people.”