Chip Shack fights back after Charlottetown permit denied

The City of Charlottetown is putting the brakes on a couple of permits for food vendors, including one vendor that has become a well-known staple for tourists.

Restaurant owners complained to city council

Owner Caron Prins says the Chip Shack is a popular spot for cruise ship visitors and locals.

The City of Charlottetown is putting the brakes on a couple of permits for food vendors, including one vendor that has become a well-known staple for tourists.

The Chip Shack in Charlottetown has been around for three years. Owner Caron Prins says it’s a popular spot for cruise ship visitors and locals.

“I want [tourists] to have a great experience in Charlottetown. So sometimes I'm out on the sidewalk, hugging people from Charlottetown,” she said.

But Monday night, the city denied the Chip Shack’s permit.

Prins said after meeting with the city’s planning committee last week, she thought she was good to go.

“I also got a, ‘Have a great season,’ as I'm walking out of the meeting. So when I heard last night that city council recommended not being a part of Charlottetown this year, I was a little floored,” she said.

The Big Orange Lunchbox on University Avenue also had their permit denied.

Coun. Rob Lantz said the city has introduced a new food vendor bylaw which requires vendors to pay a licensing fee. In exchange, vendors get “a location in the city in the public right of way, from which you can operate.”

But Lantz said the two operators weren't asking to operate on public land, plus there was some opposition to their permits.

“We did receive some pushback from local restaurant operators, that it's just not a level playing field to compete with these operations,” he said.

Some tour operators say they aren't happy with the city's decision. The Chip Shack is a part of their tours.

“I just think that they're being short-sighted if they don't allow places like this to exist. I think as a business person, I think there has to be room for all kinds of different of culinary experiences,” said Bill Kendrick with Experience P.E.I. Tours.

Prins said she will be contesting the city's decision and she'll keep her fryers going until the city shuts her down.

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