Patty Barki, owner of Patty’s Burger Wagon is considered closing the doors on her food truck due to continued construction on McBride Street. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

Patty’s Burger Wagon loses more than 50 per cent of revenue over construction on McBride St., owner says

Patty Barki contemplated shutting down her business after construction began on McBride again

Patty Barki, owner of Patty’s Burger Wagon is considering closing the doors on her food truck due to continued construction on McBride Street.

McBride has once again been under repair since Monday, May 10 and has dramatically affected her business.

“I’ll have to see if I can keep doing this another month-and-a-half. I’ll have to take it day by day by day. Sales dropped drastically and I have taken another job to help that,” Barki said.

Barki normally makes $900 in revenue per day which has now dropped to $300.

The city is currently working on McBride to repair the water main. The repair is a continuation of the replacement of the aged water main from 1916.

The city has done two previous repairs on McBride in the past three years, to fix water main breaks that occurred, which Barki said almost sent her business under.

“I can’t deal with this construction any longer,” she said.

READ MORE: Water main break on McBride may require full replacement

The only way to reach Patty’s Burger Wagon by car is up Fifth and down Sixth due to construction on McBride. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

During the first two weeks, a construction barrier was put up all around her business, forcing her loyal customers to jump a fence to get their lunch.

This week however, one of the barriers on Sixth Ave. East was removed after Barki talked to an engineer but she said it is still affecting her lunch clientele.

The city responded saying that they had to orient certain foot traffic obstacles to lessen the impact on Barki to the best of their ability while ensuring the area remains safe for the public.

Currently, the only way to reach Patty’s Burger Wagon is up Fifth Ave. and back down Sixth Ave.

“The lunch hours are gone — that is where the money is. There is no noon rush anymore. Dinner is a maybe,” Barki said. “Nobody from the city has come to talk to me at all about reimbursing me [for lost revenue]. I don’t know where to go to talk to anybody about it nor has it been offered to me at all.”

The only way to reach Patty’s Burger Wagon by car is up Fifth and down Sixth due to construction on McBride. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)

The City of Prince Rupert said that they, as well as other municipalities, do not compensate businesses for potential losses due to area construction, as this is a regular operation of government.

“In this case, as it’s a mobile business, we have been in touch with the business owner through an external contact to assist in finding an alternative location for the food truck to relocate,” said Veronika Stewart, communications manager for the city.

Barki currently pays rent to the owners of the Masonic Hall. In order to move her truck she would have to pay additional rent for a new spot during construction.

READ MORE: City says McBride Street water line repairs to be completed soon

Barki said the City of Prince Rupert only informed her on Friday, May 7, at 3 p.m. about the impending construction and blockage around her business, leaving her with no time to prepare alternative plans.

“It was during Seafest weekend so it tied my hands. Who am I supposed to talk to during Seafest weekend about letting me stay on their property? I am not moving. I am paying rent here, no one is going to offer me free rent for a month.” she said.

Barki also said finding a new space is difficult for a single owner because she will have to move her 450- pound propane tank and find a spot that is near a proper sink and washroom for sanitary reasons. Her business is only allowed to find space on private property and she cannot park on city-owned space.

“Right now I am playing it day-by-day to see if the lunches return. In those first two weeks of construction I had no lunches, 50 per cent of my income dropped for sure.”

Barki opened up her business three years ago and has been at her spot by the Masonic Hall for the last 2.5 years, after moving away from the industrial site.

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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