Bluebarn Coffee Roasters to open in time for Christmas market
After more than two years and plenty of false starts, Bluebarn Coffee Roasters is set to open as a take-out coffee bar on Dec. 12, just in time for the Wakefield Christmas Market that same day.
“We’ll have a small food menu, coffee and everything one could dream of to make coffee at home themselves — from coffee beans to grinders to brewers,” explained Luc Alary, owner of Bluebarn. “We won't have any tables, but we'll be open Saturday for take-out.”
The opening comes after a long struggle to open.
La Pêche council finally voted on Dec. 7 to grant Alary the minor variance he requires to have more than five tables and five parking spaces, and which also allows him to utilize the front terrace once the red zone restrictions are lifted.
Alary’s business license was initially rejected on two grounds: the first was that the proposed parking lot behind the building, which had been used by the building’s previous occupant – the fire hall – for parking, fell within the 15-metre river protection boundary for the Cutter stream that connects to the Gatineau River. His license was also rejected because of the location of their terrace, which would have had a few tables in front of the building.
On Oct. 27, Alary spent the morning meeting with the La Pêche Mayor Guillaume Lamoureux, who informed him that his business had been approved for a license: five indoor tables and five parking spots, until council could approve his request for a minor variance at a council meeting on Nov. 2.
At that council meeting the resolution, written and submitted by Wakefield area Ward 6 councillor Claude Giroux, was voted down 5-3.
The major difference between the previous submission for a minor variance and the one submitted for vote by council on Dec. 7, is that the most recent one was based on an architectural plan prepared by the Wakefield architect Matthew Drury, a recommendation for the variance by the municipality’s advisory planning committee and a mandate that would be given to Agence de bassin versant des 7 – an environmental consultant company in Gatineau – to study the river protection boundary in order to propose ways to make the protection more uniform throughout the sector.
Since that vote in November, coffee hasn’t been the only issue on Alary’s mind. His full-time work with the Red Cross managing a team in their communications department focusing on video and photography has kept him busy — so busy that he was not even aware his variance would be before council on Dec. 7 until asked for comment from The Low Down on Dec. 6, a full two days before announcing Bluebarn would be open for the Christmas Market.
He said he recently returned from a two-week trip to Honduras with an advanced team to set-up a field hospital for the Hurricane Eta response.
“I flew down with a few colleagues on Nov. 20,” Alary said. “They got two hurricanes in two weeks in early November. The city where we set up the hospital is basically under two feet of floodwater.”
Bluebarn Coffee Roasters is located at 20 Chemin-de-la-Vallée-de-Wakefield and will be open for coffee service for the first time from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12. For more information you can visit bluebarncoffee.com.
In other council news:
-Council amended the policy for the application for the local Green Fund;
-Council created a new position and appointment of a compensation officer;
-Council asked the government of Quebec to finance 10,000 new social and community housing units as part of the AccèsLogis Québec program.
You can find draft agendas and minutes, as well as all other related council documents at villelapeche.qc.ca/en/diffusions/conseil/.