A local café’s planned renovations and move to a new locale has hit a snag.
Jacquie Wolfe, owner of Yaky Jacquie’s Café, chose the new location on 334 Market Avenue, because it is a bigger space. The problem though, is after commencing work on the new place, building inspectors issued a stop-work order on the premises.
Wolfe said that to remove it, the RDKB requires her to hire an architect and an engineer to complete work.
“To do what?” she said. “We don’t know because nobody can really tell us what they (the architect and engineer) are supposed to do.”
She said that hiring both an architect and engineer would cost her about $8,000.
“I’m certainly not going to pay the money for the engineer and architect,” she said. “I’m just a little (small) business; I can’t spend that kind of money to do nothing (structurally).”
All we’re doing is painting, because there was nothing structural, except putting in the regulation exhaust fan, that would go up through the ceiling and out through the wall.”
Wolfe said that everything else is portable. They also don’t have any open flame – it’s all electric.
One possibility that Wolfe is hoping for is that since there used to be a bistro in the building that might offer a way for them to circumvent the need for a permit for a change of venue.
Ken Wagner, building and plumbing official for the regional district, said that the reason for the order was a change of venues.
“They don’t have a building permit to turn a retail store into a restaurant,” Wagner said. “A stop work order was put on there July 18.”
The city contracts the regional district to do building inspection and Wagner said they are just trying to help.
“We’re just setting them in the right direction, before they get carried away,” he said.
Wolfe said that the work she was doing shouldn’t have been considered for the stop work order, as it was nothing to do with the structure of the building, and she said it said it doesn’t make sense.
“The city is trying to improve the town and we’re trying to expand and open up that corner,” she said. “The city has gotten many, many complaint forms from people who are dismayed.”
Blair Bolster, who owns a trucking company, said he would be writing a letter to the city voicing his concern at the way the matter was handled.
At the moment, Bolster trucks out of Grand Forks, but is considering moving his enterprise to Osoyoos, given the lack of what he called support for businesses.