By: John Symon – mtltimes.ca
Peter Varvaro, the owner of Smoke Meat Pete is crying foul about new ‘no parking’ signs that went up last week around his restaurant on Ile Perrot. He claims the new signs, which went up with no warning or consultation, will drive away business. There are no hours indicated on the new signs, meaning that no parking is allowed at any time of day or night.
“Two customers already received parking tickets. There was parking available on the street before; my business brings customers into town. There are some traffic safety concerns, and motorists need to watch for children, but it’s probably safer with parked cars there because they slow down the traffic.”
The restaurant is famous, not only for its smoked meat, but also for its blues nights. “Some young musicians learn how to play the blues here; a few years later they are doing shows at the Jazz Fest.”
Apart from helping local musicians, Varvaro underlines that he promotes the local economy, maintaining that much of his clientele drives in from Ontario. “I just cut a $75,000 cheque to Revenu Quebec; you think that the government would give me break!”
Smoke Meat Pete has seating capacity for 85 people indoors and another 40 on the terrace, but only spots for 30 vehicles in its parking lot. In cooler weather, Smoke Meat Pete rents another 40 parking spots from a nearby Dairy Queen that is closed for the winter.
Varvaro also just finished renovating his restaurant and now faces a court case over 35 alleged building infractions. “They are trying to give me grief while I am running a business; I get no help from the city!”
Ile Perrot’s director of urban planning and the environment, Sebastien Carrière, has a very different version of things, claiming that the municipality has in fact added some 20 new parking spots down the road on 1st Ave. However, The Times understands that customers have to walk down 1st Ave. some distance from these parking spots to reach Smoke Meat Pete.
News articles on this in other media suggest however that previous parking signs here were confusing and, until recently, police were not giving parking tickets.
Smoke Meat Pete describes itself as: “Old-school diner with smoked-meat sandwiches, fries, chicken & ribs, plus nightly blues acts.” The restaurant is licensed to serve liquor and there is no cover charge. There is also catering, take-out, and online ordering. Varvaro’s father, also named Peter Varvaro, formerly ran the Main Deli Steak House on St. Lawrence Blvd.
Smoke Meat Pete:
283 – 1st ave,
L’Île-Perrot, QC J7V 5A1