Nova Scotia

Caribbean restaurant ready to rezone

The owner of a popular Halifax restaurant is hoping to save his business after being ordered to close earlier this week.

Businessman working with Halifax officials to stay open

The restaurant at the corner of Gottingen and Kaye streets used to be a lunch spot. (CBC)
The owner of a popular Halifax restaurant is hoping to save his business after being ordered to close earlier this week. 

Lyndon Hibbert said city officials visited his north-end restaurant, Caribbean Twist, on Thursday morning to tell him how to properly zone the business.

On Tuesday, CBC reported that municipal officials ordered the restaurant closed because the building is not zoned for food service.

Hibbert said then that he was vowing to fight the order, noting that a lunch spot had operated in the same location for years before he took it over.

He said he was very happy with Thursday's news.

Caribbean Twist owner Lyndon Hibbert collected hundreds of signatures of support. (CBC)
"God's good to me," he said, "and the people... the overwhelming support changed the attitude."

Supporters, including local councillors and even the city's mayor, quickly rallied around the business owner this week, with hundreds signing a petition.

Hibbert said the controversy and the publicity it generated was almost overwhelming.

Coun. Dawn Sloane is among those ready to fight to rezone the building so Caribbean Twist can stay open.

"What we need to do is put pressure on the bureaucrats and say, 'Look at this area. We see that it's flanked three ways with different businesses and this is a good idea and we should be supporting it.'"

Halifax's mayor, Peter Kelly, echoed that sentiment.

"Being in the Hydrostone with all the restaurants and the markets there — and you have the Starbucks — it makes sense."

A zoning change could take several months, but Hibbert said the shutdown order takes effect in one month. He said he is hoping for an extension so the business can stay open until the change goes through.