‘I’m so disgusted with the town’ — Texas BBQ owner

Business owner has harsh words for the town; he can operate on Qualicum Beach but can't smoke his food there

Texas BBQ was granted a smokeless stay of execution Monday night by Qualicum Beach town council, but the owner of the business remains unimpressed.

Responding to residents’ concerns about smoke emanating from the mobile food truck during the cooking process, council recently gave Texas BBQ notice it was going to cancel its business licence. This came just a couple weeks after council had granted the business a licence to operate on the beach.

Texas BBQ was told it had to show up at council’s July 8 meeting to plead its case to stay on Qualicum Beach for the summer. The motion Monday night “relieves the stress of having to come to council,” said Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer, who seemingly took an active interest in this file.

Luchtmeijer reported that the business offered to do its smoking off site.

Between serving customers Tuesday at the Craig Street Market in Parksville, Texas BBQ owner Rick Allen didn’t pull any punches when discussing his views about how the Town of Qualicum Beach operates.

“After all we’ve been put through, the waffling back and forth, all we have tried to be is accommodating,” said Rick Allen. “I’m so disgusted with the Town of Qualicum Beach. We probably won’t be back next year.”

Allen was asked if he would comply with the new suggestion of no smoking on site for this summer.

“It will be expensive for me but I will do it,” he said.

Location was also a matter of discussion during this debate over the proliferation of pulled pork on the promenade.

Originally, council granted the licence for operation near the Brant viewing area but power wasn’t readily available. The Beach Hut sent the town a letter objecting to the new competition on the beach. The Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce then offered power and a place near its tourism information booth and that seemed to settle the situation, until nearby residents — including the spouse of one person who is battling lung cancer — complained about the smoke coming from the operation.

The town currently has no bylaw regulating cooking appliances or smoke, so council was forced to look at cancelling the business licence of the Texas BBQ until the events of Monday night gave them a reprieve.

“Thank-you Coun. Luchtmeijer for helping to resolve this issue and avoiding a food fight,” Mayor Teunis Westbroek quipped.

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