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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Restaurateur feels ‘targeted’ by region but supported by community
Dozens of no parking signs have appeared on Four Mile Creek Road outside the Grist brewery. Evan Saunders

Complaints prompted installation of dozens of no parking signs near Grist, official says


There’s an odd new sight in St. Davids.

Dozens of no parking signs popped up along Four Mile Creek Road earlier this year, for several hundred metres in either direction from the Grist, the popular restaurant opened in St. Davids last year by Danielle Begin and her husband Rob.

“It sucks that they’re targeting us for that because it clearly feels targeted,” Danielle Begin said at the restaurant last week.

The no parking signs were only installed near the Grist, she said.

“If you go (toward Niagara Falls) you can park going up to the highway,” she said.

In the other direction, “You can park at the Avondale, where there’s no shoulder.”

The section of Four Mile Creek Road in front of the Grist has about a three-metre wide paved shoulder on either side of the road, now lined with no parking signs.

A few hundred metres down the road, heading toward the four corners, the road is void of signs in many areas and also void of an extended shoulder where people could park.

“Does it feel like a target? Yeah, it feels like a target.”

Begin said support from the community has been outstanding.

“Our community, they’ve rallied behind us. We’ve got the greatest community around us,” she said.

Indeed, the Grist was nearly packed last Wednesday afternoon when a reporter from The Lake Report spoke with Begin.

As to what happens with the signs next? It seems there is already a definitive answer.

“They said they will not remove them,” said Begin.

“But our community has rallied behind us and that’s really the greatest gift.”

It’s not just the residents of St. Davids and NOTL that have the Begin’s backs. 

Nearby, Petrullo Marketplace has allowed customers of the Grist to use its parking lot when the Grist’s is at capacity, she said.

A spokesperson for the Region of Niagara said safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists is a top priority and noted there had been complaints about the stretch of road in front of the Grist.

One of the concerns is “sightline issues from the curvature of Four Mile Creek Road and with parked vehicles on the Region’s right-of-way,” the spokesperson said.

“It is creating visual obstructions for people turning out of the residential community at Creekside Drive and David Secord Drive and from driveways in the vicinity of the Grist.”

“This area is currently under review by staff” and a speed monitor and traffic statistics are being used by the region to determine next steps in the area.

The region also is having discussions with people in the area about transportation concerns, the official said.

But Begin said regional staff had spoken to the Grist earlier this year and the restaurant is  not actively in discussion with the region now.

“Whether they’re working through it on their own right now behind the scenes and it hasn’t come to us — maybe they are. I don’t know,” she said.

“Does it feel like it? No.”

“Do we have a great solution? Yeah, we have a great neighbour (in Petrullo Marketplace).” 

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