Cat and the Fiddle has closed their doors once again as of Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
Speaking with manager David Oberholtzer on Tuesday, he said the closing stems from a fence being put up by the neighbouring property.
Oberholtzer said the Cat and the Fiddle Restaurant and Pub located at 38 Covert Street has been using the Northumberland Humane Society’s driveway located at 46 Covert Street since 1985 when the restaurant first opened.
The access allows employees to park at the back of the restaurant and garbage containers to be placed at the rear of the building.
Oberholtzer has been working for the property owner of Cat and the Fiddle for 15 years and has been using the driveway to park.
The Northumberland Humane Society has owned their building and property for close to 12 years.
But since the Northumberland Humane Society is putting up a fence, Oberholtzer says they have no choice but to close down the business as of Wednesday, November 13, 2019.
“They just decided they want to block us out.”
“We don’t have garbage pickup, we don’t have deliveries, we have no parking. There is no access to the back because they’ve cut us off to our own property.”
The business was about to start renovations which would include two apartments on the upper floor and accessible entrance at the rear of the business along with accessible washrooms on the main floor.
Cat and the Fiddle received a $24,000 residential grant and building improvement grant. A $25,000 building improvement loan and a $40,000 residential loan for the project that is expected to cost $229,500 to convert the second floor dining room to apartments, add an extension on to the west side to house accessible washrooms and a new dining room according to Cobourg Blog.
“This is an aging population in Cobourg and those stairs are very steep. If you’ve got a cane, walker, bad hips, people don’t come here because they can’t get up the stairs. It’s not just in a wheelchair. There is a lot of people that can’t manage those stairs.”
At approximately 9 p.m. on Tuesday evening, Oberholtzer decided the Cat and the Fiddle would not be opening on Wednesday.
Oberholtzer said the “Inhumane Society” is “destroying a business that employs 15 people.”
“It’s going to have to go to court because they’re putting the fence up.”
Today’s Northumberland reached out to the NHS for comment.
“We have never had any kind of agreement with the building owner,” said Carolyn Campbell, Board Chair of NHS.
“In the past we have allowed the previous business owners to use our driveway for employees to access parking behind their own building.”
“We as a Board have been assessing our properties, liabilities, and future plans and made the decision to fence our property line.”
Campbell said when the Cat and the Fiddle closed recently (July 19, 2019 for several months) the Northumberland Humane Society decided to proceed with the decision to fence in their property line.
“When the business reopened, we notified the Cat and the Fiddle that we would be installing a fence on our property.”
“We have never been consulted by the owner of the building regarding his plans.”