Parking problems persist for Calabash restaurant owner

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CALABASH, NC (WWAY) — No matter where you go, there never seems to be enough parking.

Some restaurant owners in Calabash are fed up with customers from other restaurants parking in their lots. One owner says it’s even costing him business.

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“They need to monitor their parking lot,” Captain John’s Seafood House Owner Mike Frink said. “It shouldn’t be my issue to monitor their parking lot for them.”

By the looks of it, you would think there’s enough parking to go around at Captain John’s in Calabash.

“I realized we were having an issue,” Frink said. “They said, ‘We’ve been driving around for five or 10 minutes looking for a parking space and we figured you were full.’ They come in and I had 13 tables in there out of 65 seated.”

Frink has owned Captain John’s for decades.

Over the last several years, he says more restaurants have come to the waterfront. Now, Frink says customers from other restaurants are taking over his parking lot.

“It’s costing me money and time and just distress,” he said.

Frink’s mother has to ride her golf cart around directing people to where they can and cannot park.

“Just to keep our parking so that our customers that are coming to Captain’s John’s have a place to park,” Pearl Frink said. “They come in and go up and down the aisles, and if they don’t find a parking place, they leave.”

Mike Frink and some other owners have reached out to the town for help. At a meeting in July, town commissioners suggested having a parking study done and assessing the town parking ordinance.

For restaurants that need overflow parking lots, Frink says there is an easier short term solution.

“If you have off-site parking, then you have to have a parking attendant in your parking lot telling the people where to go when the parking lot is full,” he said. “Because our summer is short and we have to make money while the people are here.”

At the town’s next meeting Tuesday, the board of commissioners plan to continue discussing the option of have a parking study done, and will look at the current town parking ordinance.