Alberni’s Water’s Edge closing doors at month’s end

A rental dispute with the city of Alberni is forcing Harbour Quay’s Water’s Edge Restaurant to close its doors.

Unable to make a deal with the city to pay back rent

Unable to make a deal with the city to pay back rent

A rental dispute with the city is forcing Harbour Quay’s Water’s Edge Restaurant to close its doors.

The last plate of food will be served at the five-year old waterfront eatery on March 31, owner operator Thomas Geiger said.

“I’ve been working in the business since I was 16 years old,” said Geiger, 48. “This is certainly not my choice.”

Geiger admits to being behind on his rent to the tune of $22,000. The seeds of the restaurant’s end were sown during last summer’s renovation of Harbour Quay, he said.

“I had no patio, no parking, there was dust and fumes, and pile drivers were working outside everyday,” Geiger said.

“I had to close until four o’clock in the afternoon and after that there was little business.”

But business has been picking up over the past two months and the spring and summer looked to be good. “My numbers are strong and they’re picking up,” Geiger said.

Geiger said he approached the city with an offer to pay $10,000 of the rent with the balance payable over the spring and summer. “They said ‘no’ and wanted the full amount so what could I do?” Geiger said. “I signed the papers and that’s it.”

Geiger said he’ll be looking for another job, and would like to one day open another restaurant. “But it will be very difficult after declaring bankruptcy.”

City economic development manager Pat Deakin said the city and owner have agreed to close the eatery by mutual agreement.

Deakin said he wasn’t aware of the renovation work last summer being an issue.

The closure leaves a big hole at the front of Harbour Quay that the city wants to fill in short order, Deakin said.

The city is putting out a request for proposals for the restaurant property, which it hopes to have filled by summer, he said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com