Nfld. & Labrador

Chef Todd Perrin planning new venue in Quidi Vidi

Chef Todd Perrin of Mallard Cottage and his partners plan to develop the site of the former Flake House Restaurant in Quidi Vidi as a new food service establishment.
The site of the former Flake House Restaurant in Quidi Vidi, which is slated to be demolished and redeveloped by the owners of Mallard Cottage. (Lukas Wall/CBC)

A notable derelict property in St. John's will receive some significant work in the future, as 'Top Chef' Todd Perrin and his partners have begun preliminary work to redevelop the former Flake House Restaurant in Quidi Vidi village. 

Perrin, a chef and partner at the successful Mallard Cottage restaurant, says he has lived and worked near the Flake House property for a number of years and wanted to make good use of the property when it came on to the market.

St. John's city council lifted a two-year freeze on development in the village in June, allowing Perrin and his partners to submit a development application.

Perrin said that the city will require a land use assessment before the project can go ahead, but the process has been "reasonably straight forward," as the space will be developed as a food establishment.  

The chef said that development in the village is always controversial, so the city wants to make sure there is ample opportunity for people to have their say on the project.

The site of the new development is just steps away from Mallard Cottage. (Lukas Wall/CBC)

Perrin knows that the process of opening a new restaurant is difficult, but said the potential of the space was too great not to develop it.

"Sometimes I wake up in the morning and go, 'what in the hell are we doing?' because Mallard Cottage was hard enough, but we think it's important," he said, speaking on the St. John's Morning Show.

"It's one of the most iconic properties, certainly in eastern Newfoundland, and the potential for it is spectacular." 

Everything is on the table at this point.- Todd Perrin

The plan is to demolish the existing building and put up a new structure of a similar size with a design that will fit the area and make good use of the wharf.

Perrin said that the idea is to create a multi-faceted public space that provides a variety of food services.

Todd Perrin is the owner of Mallard Cottage. (CBC)

"We're toying with all kinds of ideas of different types of food establishments, maybe an aspect of a coffee shop. Everything is on the table at this point," Perrin said.

Perrin said he does not know how long the whole process will take, but it will likely be at least two years before anything is up and running.

He also said that this development is not a plan to replace Mallard Cottage, but to create a new space that will benefit Quidi Vidi and the city as a whole.

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