Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue residents want burnt-out restaurant on boardwalk fixed
Mayor of West Island suburb says municipality's 'hands are tied,' next step is up to building's insurer
There are few ways more pleasant to pass a sunny July afternoon than on a restaurant patio. But the view from the terrasse at Cunningham's Pub, in the heart of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, is of a burnt-out building, its windows broken and bricks charred from the flames.
"It's sad," said Elisha Valée, a bartender at Cunningham's. "It's a big eyesore."
In April, the upstairs floor of Marco's Bar and Grill caught fire. The restaurant, once a popular spot on the boardwalk overlooking Lac Saint-Louis on the western tip of Montreal island, has been closed ever since.
Now, visitors to the waterfront wonder how long it will take to get fixed.
"It happened a while ago now," said Valée. "It would be nice if it were dealt with."
Town's 'hands are tied,' says mayor
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Mayor Paola Hawa recognizes that the building does not look great, but she says there is nothing the municipality can do.
"Our hands are tied because it is up to the restaurant's insurance," she told CBC News.
Although the cause of the fire is unclear, the SPVM found that the incident was not of a criminal nature, and police have closed the file.
"Marco's was a beautiful building on the boardwalk," said Glenn Feeney, a Beaconsfield resident who visits Sainte-Anne often.
"The fire, I'm sure, affected the business and other businesses around."
"I hope they will rebuild it. It's a shame," said Ginette Tessier, who only just found out about the fire. She used to go to Marco's twice a year with friends.
"We're so disappointed."
Another restaurant owner on the boardwalk says people need to be patient and more understanding. Franco Vincenti, the owner of Sofia's, has offered to buy the burnt-out building from the current owner.
"The poor lady lost everything," said Vincenti. "I wouldn't wish it on anyone."
"The insurance companies have homework to do. It's summer. Half of them are on vacation," he said.
The building's owner, Anastasia Siamas, could not be reached for comment.