Pedal Pub NOTL will continue to operate for the rest of 2020, town council decided Monday.
The unanimous decision is a 180-degree reversal from a vote on July 27 when council, also unanimously, decided not to support the renewal of the Pedal Pub’s licence for 2021.
At that time it recommended that the Region of Niagara, which licenses the operation, not renew its permit when it expires Aug. 28. It is unclear what prompted the change of heart.
Interim chief administrator Sheldon Randall said the town’s decision to allow the business to operate until Dec. 31, 2020, would be sent to Niagara Region. In response to questions Tuesday, he said he’s not sure what the region’s process will be, whether it extends the licence, renews it or does not allow it.
On Monday, Pedal Pub owner Tony Visca and general manager Marlo Saganski offered councillors a few reasons they think the business should be able to continue.
Saganski said the business is taking a new route, which is “significantly reduced in length” and mainly goes through commercial areas. People in some residential neighbourhoods had complained about noise from the operation.
The new route is from Mary Street, down Mississagua and across Queen Street, where it stops at Butler’s Bar & Grill, Fournos Family Restaurant and the Exchange Brewery.
Saganski said she wants to make clear “there is no drinking alcohol on our bike.”
She said they also make sure nobody is bringing outside drinks onboard.
Regarding a noise complaint, she said the business has lowered its volumes. As well, when going through residential neighbourhoods, music is turned down the music completely and guides instead tell stories about the history of the town, she said.
“It really turns down the level,” she said.
She said the company is ready and willing to make more changes if there are other problems and noted they’re only doing about three tours per day, with two bikes.
Saganski also said the complaints received this year were made in June, before the Pedal Pub’s season even started on July 11.
Visca said the business got off to a late start to the season due to COVID-19 and that if allowed to operate it would mean 10 staff members can keep their jobs, plus economic benefits to partner businesses.