Kiwanis Dairy Bar seeks city funding for renos in advance of 70th anniversary

Basil Hambly and Ronnie McPhee say expanding the building will cost about $600,000. (Stacey Janzer/CBC - image credit)
Basil Hambly and Ronnie McPhee say expanding the building will cost about $600,000. (Stacey Janzer/CBC - image credit)

The Kiwanis Club of Charlottetown is looking for a little help from the City of Charlottetown to expand its popular dairy bar in the heart of Victoria Park.

"The business is growing and it's harder to get product, and sometimes we have to take large orders. So having a walk-in cooler and freezer would really benefit us, as well as having some more space to store product," said Basil Hambly, who manages the Kiwanis Dairy Bar.

There's also plans to have a dedicated employee bathroom inside, so that staff don't have to leave the dairy bar to use the public restrooms accessible from the deck.

The dairy bar, which will open for the 2024 season in a month or so, was last renovated in 1994. Hambly said it's in need of an overhaul and a freshen-up.

The project has been estimated to cost $600,000, and the club has asked the city for $50,000 of that. The rest of the money will come from Kiwanis Club of Charlottetown revenues as well as some financing.

"For every dollar that we can get from community support like the city and other avenues that we're going to, [that] is going to make sure that we continue making those donations and funding those organizations that really need it and that we've been longtime funders of," said Ronnie McPhee, the club's incoming president.

The side of the building will be extended to provide space for a walk-in freezer, more storage and a dedicated employee bathroom. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)

"We have some tough decisions to make because we have important renovations that have to happen," he said. "If we have to make this go down over the years, we will do that. But the sooner we can get the renovations done, the better experience [it] is going to be for everybody."

McPhee said they would like to start renovations in the fall if they can secure funding this year. Most of the work will be completed sometime next year, which is also the 70th anniversary of the dairy bar.

"It would be awesome to have kind of the new-and-improved location then," he said, adding: "We want to make sure that we're doing it in a way that funds all our organizations, [and] make sure people can get here and not have to crawl in over ladders and all that stuff."

Donations from the Kiwanis Club of Charlottetown support organizations including BGC Charlottetown, Make-a-Wish, and the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry.