Montreal

Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue residents want burnt-out restaurant on boardwalk fixed

Marco's Bar and Grill, once a popular spot on the boardwalk overlooking Lac Saint-Louis, has been closed since a fire on the building's top floor last April. Locals say it's now an eyesore, but the mayor says there's not much the municipality can do.

Mayor of West Island suburb says municipality's 'hands are tied,' next step is up to building's insurer

Marco's Bar and Grill was a popular spot on the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue boardwalk until it was destroyed by fire last April. (CBC)

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."

Elisha Valée, a waitress at Cunningham's restaurant, wishes that the building would quickly be repaired. She says she gets asked daily about the charred building next door.

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.

Glenn Feeney, a Beaconsfield resident, says the boardwalk is a popular tourist destination but the fire-scarred building takes away from its beauty.

"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."

Franco Vincenti, the owner of Sofia’s, another restaurant on the boardwalk, says working with insurance companies takes time, and he says other businesses and visitors should be more patient.

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.

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