The Royal Bar has added to their eclectic indoor decorations. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

The Royal Bar has added to their eclectic indoor decorations. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Royal Bar and Infinitea issued lease extension until end of November

The uncertainty ensues with both businesses issued a one-month extension on their leases

Following months of back and forth with the owners of the Royal Hotel, Infinitea T-Bar and the Royal Bar have had their leases extended until at least the end of November.

According to manager of the Royal Bar, Julie Comete, they were issued the extension on Oct. 23, however the situation’s instability has been difficult to manage.

“It’s been tricky times, finding out we get one more month of business one week before the planned closure date was great but also hard since we now have to relaunch our business and let everyone know that we will be open in November,” said Comete.

“But we will enjoy our time at the Royal as much as we can for one more month, and for the rest, only time will tell.”

Also affected by the upcoming closure is owner of Infinitea T-Bar, Stephanie Fleming, who mirrored Comete’s frustration.

“(Julie and I) reached out to the owners, saying that we wanted to stay on as businesses – the ideal for us would be that we have one more winter, which means we get to say good bye to the community through one last hurrah, and it also gives us some time to come up with a continuance plan,” said Fleming.

Despite their best efforts, Fleming said that the owners have responded with desires of getting the project going immediately.

The Free Press understands that the required building permits have still yet to be issued by the City of Fernie.

In response to the constant to and fro-ing, Fleming has given the owners an ultimatum, stating that they will either close at the end of November or the end of March.

“It’s not logistically feasible for us to do a month-to-month scenario in the winter, and also logistically trying to move things in the middle of winter is not going to work,” added Fleming.

According to Flemming, the owners said they would reach out with a response sometime this week.

“If November has to be the end, then we’ll go out with a bang,” said Fleming.

According to Comete, the Royal Bar is also celebrating their last few weeks in business with a number of exciting events including their new Get Stoked Saturdays, where the bar will screen ski and snowboard films to get locals excited for the winter season.

“I would love for everyone to consider trying us out during the month of November, we still need your support and mostly we would love to see you and share some memories,” said Comete.

“I feel many of us are not ready to say good bye to the rundown dive bar we’ve been calling The Royal for over 100 years.”

In terms of the tenancy debacle, tenant Richard Leeks is still facing a number of issues, having disputed his alleged illegitimate eviction.

“Besides cutting the cable and WiFi, including for the businesses, with wire cutters, (the owner is) giving Infinitea and the bar another month, so I’m winning,” said Leeks.

Despite the difficulties, Leeks seems to be in high spirits, and says he will remain in the Royal at least until his hearing on Dec. 22.

“I’m a Leo, you could chuck me off the top of a skyscraper and I’d land on my feet,” said Leeks.

The owners of the Royal have been contacted for comments, however have yet to respond.

To stay up to date with the events Infinitea and the Royal Bar have planned for the rest of November, visit their Facebook pages.

READ MORE: Residents of The Royal allege illegitimate eviction



reporter@thefreepress.ca

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