Hundreds sign petition to keep Caribbean Twist open

“I’d like to sign the petition.” That sentence is being spoken this week by a steady stream of customers at Caribbean Twist , as a culinary bylaw battle not seen since Dalhousie vs. the Dawgfather casts its shadow on Gottingen Street.

A year after taking over 3081 Gottingen Street, the space formerly occupied by Toulany's Lunch Box, Caribbean Twist owners Lyndon and Sherri Hibbert have been notified that their restaurant violates the residential zoning designation for the building.

“I feel bad for them,” says Jerry Blumenthal, councillor for the north end. “I don’t think they’ll close it down as long as the process is moving forward.” Blumenthal is working with the Hibberts on a zoning change application. “I have hope,” he says, “but you never can tell. I never make promises because promises are made to be broken, but I’ll try as hard as I can.”

An occupancy application was rejected earlier this week by HRM’s Planning & Development Services, but there are two weeks to appeal that decision and an extension until the end of August to work on the application for the zoning change.

“I’m very confident that the end result is that I’ll be able to keep this place,” Lyndon Hibbert says, sitting in the restaurant, flipping through the petition; the list is hundreds of names strong after only a few days. He reads a quote from customer Lester Powell, and smiles. “Diversity is the spice of life… and it’s better with a Caribbean Twist.”

“It will come down to the people,” says Hibbert, as another person heads to the counter. “Email your local reps, let Planning and Development know how you feel. The community, customers and people of Halifax will be instrumental in our success.”

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