A Nanaimo restaurant has had its seating capacity cut nearly in half after a vehicle destroyed its wooden street-side patio.
Carrie Williams, owner of the Breakfast Nook at 366 Selby St. in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter, said she got a phone call from the Nanaimo RCMP at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, informing her that the structure had been destroyed by a vehicle earlier in the morning.
“Someone, literally, just ran right through it,” Williams said. “Dragged half of it down the block. The RCMP called us … and left a message. We called them back and he said, yes it’s, like, demolished. I said, ‘What do you mean, “demolished?” If someone hit it I would have thought that they wouldn’t get far, but no, it was torn up.”
By noon the city had picked up the debris and Williams said she was waiting to hear back from her insurance company and hopes she has some coverage.
Williams said the patio seated about 10 people, almost doubling the seating capacity of the small restaurant.
The patio was one of several set up under the city’s temporary patio program during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow restaurants to maintain, as much as possible, their normal customer seating capacity while meeting social distancing requirements. The city allowed the patios to remain after COVID restrictions were eased, but business owners were required to pay for the program’s costs.
Nanaimo RCMP are looking for the driver and vehicle that destroyed the patio.
“At about 5 o’clock this morning, people heard a crash and came outside,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “It appears that an unknown vehicle crashed into the [patio]. Debris was scattered about.”
O’Brien said no eyewitnesses have been found yet and there were no security surveillance cameras operating in the area.
“We’re asking the public to give us a call,” O’Brien said.
Williams said she is moving the Breakfast Nook to a new location at the Quality Inn Hotel, located just a block away at 440 Selby St., which has outdoor patio seating and she expects to have the business operating in time for the summer season.
“We’re literally just moving the Nook over there,” she said.
Anyone with information about the vehicle or driver involved in the collision is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency line at 250-754-2345 and quote file #2022-19472.