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Petition started to save landmark snack bar

By Staff | Feb 19, 2013

If K-C’s River Stop is going to fade into the sunset, it won’t do it without a fight.

A petition has been started on the website www.change.org to try to save the snack bar at the Cape Coral Yacht Club that has been a part of beachgoers and residents’ lives for more than 20 years.

The petition, which was started by K-C’s owner Joe Serrago on Valentine’s Day, has been signed by almost 200 people as of Tuesday morning.

This is on top of the 1,500 signatures they got in the days leading up to the city council meeting on Feb. 11, where council discussed the future of the long-time establishment that leases its location from the city.

“My son said he was going to put up a petition online and I said ‘OK, go ahead,'” said Betty Serrago. “It can’t hurt and it can’t hinder.”

The petition, which is addressed to the city council, asks that the city renew the lease on KC’s Riverstop for three years by mutual agreement with the Serragos as per the lease dated and signed June 7, 2010.

The lease signed three years ago provides for renewal, should both parties agree. City Council has opted to explore other options and has decided to issue a request for proposals, which opens the door to other potential operators.

Serrago said that many of those who signed the petition that went to council Feb. 11 are signing the online one as well.

On that day, despite pleas from residents and the petition, the city council voted 5-3 not to renew the three-year lease for K-C’s and instead put it up for RFP to see what the lease is worth on the open market.

While that doesn’t necessarily spell doom for the snack bar, the Serragos believe that if the RFP process goes through, they may not be able to afford to stay there despite investing in on-site improvements.

Serrago said she would put in an RFP “for a hot dog stand. That’s worked for the last 20 years.”

The lease will expire June 30.

Serrago said the proof of the importance of K-C’s is in the pudding. That is the petition that was signed last time.

“We weren’t looking for people to sign, they came to us,” Serrago said. “

She did say there was some urgency involved with this petition, as her employees need to know where they stand so they can look for work if need be.

“My employees are not going to be able to find a job in June. In a small business you don’t have the luxury of sitting around and talking about the same thing,” Serrago said. “I told my employees if someone offers you a job, take it.”

As for what good the new petition will do, Councilmember Rana Erbrick said she isn’t sure it will change the board’s decision at this point.

“If their intent is to keep this in the forefront of our mind, they’re doing it because we get an e-mail every time someone signs the petition,” Erbrick said. “Not to be heartless, but I believe the path the council has taken is the right one for the moment, and we need to let it play out.”