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Café granted artistic licence

One Penticton café will be singing a happy tune, if only perhaps for the next year.

At the last meeting, Penticton council approved a temporary change to Fibonacci Roastery and Café’s application to amend its food primary licence to allow patron participation in entertainment, such as karaoke and open mic nights.

According to a staff report, owner Trisha Paseka applied for a temporary change at 219 Main St. to foster amateur arts in the community with an additional venue offering live entertainment free of charge.

While four letters were written in support of Fibonacci’s application, the proposed change did not go unopposed in the community. Neighbouring resident Donna Jacobson offered her delegation on Nov. 21 and explained to council the changes are like placing a bar on that end of town.

“Of concern is the large mess of cigarette butts and garbage which are all over the sidewalk from the patrons who hang around outside so they can smoke,” she wrote in a letter. “Since the doors are open, the noise is quite substantial and quite disruptive to residents.”

Darren Hunter, an employee at Fibonacci’s since June, said they were very mindful of the 11 p.m. cutoff in the city’s noise bylaw.

“There was never a problem. We were always closed on time,” he said.

Hunter said he has personally cleared the sidewalk of litter or butts outside the café, which was no worse than any other business on Main. Staff have also tried to be receptive to any concerns of neighbours.

“We’ve always accommodated the businesses next door,” he said, adding they rescheduled previous open mic nights to allow the neighbouring bookstore to enjoy author readings without background music.

Coun. Mike Pearce said he would support the temporary licence amendment as the move might expand offerings in the commercial core.

“We’re talking about the downtown area here. It’s going to get a little bit busier,” he said.

Coun. Garry Litke agreed. “We’ve heard over and over again that we need to do more for the downtown core,” he said.

One councillor mused on some of the staff’s findings on the application. Judy Sentes said it gave her pause when she read liquor inspector Randy Brown’s note that Fibonacci’s had been served a four-day suspension for contraventions, and Fire Chief Wayne Williams’ report that the department would like to review the rear exit arrangement as it passes through the kitchen and is “always blocked or obstructed.”

“I certainly support the concept, but I am concerned when I read the establishment has just been served a liquor suspension,” she said.

Mayor Dan Ashton acknowledged Sentes’ concerns, but added that an applicant given a temporary amendment to their permit typically “would make darn sure” they are in compliance with all requirements for the entire year.

Council unanimously approved the temporary amendment, which limits use to a sit-down style of café with food remaining the primary use. Furniture cannot be relocated to accommodate increased occupants or allow for a dance floor. The kitchen will remain open until the business is closed.

 

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