McMullan’s and others at 56 King see little progress


Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

Three months after roof damage forced McMullan’s pub to close, little progress has been made.

And Chuck McMullan, the owner of the restaurant, is frustrated.

“The insurance company that is responsible for insuring the building against tragedies like this has basically done absolutely nothing and that’s about where it is,” he said.

Damage was discovered at McMullan’s 56 King Street North location, shortly after a severe thunderstorm passed through Waterloo in August.

A critical part of its roof structure was reportedly damaged.

The building also housed Night School, Loop Clothing and The Thief and the Idiot. The damages have put 50 people out of work indefinitely.

“They’ve taken the solar panels off the roof, fine. And I know a building permit has been issued to repair the roof, fine,” McMullan said when discussing his frustration with the situation.

“As far as contractors going up to repair the roof, I haven’t seen any evidence of that as of yet.”

When asked about the contractors hired to work on the building, McMullan explained that “I’m not privy to that information, I’m just a tenant.”

Despite tenant statu,s McMullan revealed that, “I do know some of the information in regards to the landlord but he’s not getting any assistance from  anybody either and it’s just turning into a long-winded difference of opinion between engineering firms as to what caused and is responsible for the demise of the roof.”

Five different engineering firms have looked at the building, according to McMullan.

“They basically split into two camps, two in one and three in the other and they can’t agree on what caused the roof to collapse” he said.

Of the five opinions three engineering firms agree that it was the storm that caused the roof to collapse and two engineering firms hired by the insurance company have stated that the storm did not cause damage.

The matter is now at a standstill as the two camps are unable to come to a consensus on the matter.

Although progress appears a distant achievement, McMullan stated that “it’s not impossible to go forward.”

”The difference being is if you take the one side of the engineering argument the insurance company would be responsible for paying for the repair of the roof. If you take the other side of the engineering report then they’re not responsible and you’ve got to pay for it yourself, and I don’t know anybody that has half a million dollars kicking around looking for a place to put it.”

Given the impasse that has paralyzed progress on the building concerns over the businesses’ continued displacement has been raised.

“We haven’t done anything other than advertise on their behalf,” said Patti Brooks, the executive director of the Uptown Waterloo Business Improvement Area .

“We have a newsletter that goes out to all 450 businesses on a monthly basis so we let the other businesses know where they are.”

She continued, “So for instance McMullan’s does have another location on Highland so we encourage that, the Loop of course moved his business to a new location, we’ve let people know and encourage that, and until further notice Night School and The thief and the Idiot are closed.”

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