The Wharf at Quidi Vidi in St. John's provides a new seasonal event with a beer garden, food vendors and local art


ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — When Mark Dobbin was in his late teens, he would venture to Quidi Vidi Village in St. John’s, eat cooked lobster he bought from the fish plant, and take in the scenery while discarding the shells back into the water.

On Wednesday, Dobbin, founder and president of Newfoundland-based investment firm Killick Capital Inc., stood in the same area, surrounded by dozens of wooden picnic tables as people sipped beer and ate food from Saucy Mouth, Bernard Stanley Express and Quidi Vidi Sweet Spot.

After acquiring the land, Dobbin and his partners at Business and Arts NL saw an opportunity to turn the empty, barren wharf into a place where locals and tourists of all ages could go to experience the scenery, see local art and enjoy local food and beer.

They call it The Wharf at Quidi Vidi, a not-for-profit seasonal event, which began Wednesday evening and plans to run until Labour Day weekend.

“We have, as you can see, room for hundreds of people. We’re well over the minimum regulations in terms of how far apart the tables are,” Dobbin said. “It’s family friendly. You’re allowed to have pets out there. There’s going to be more food trucks, but right now we have three.

“As you see, they’re doing very steady business. (There is) excellent beer provided by Landwash, we got the ice cream, coffee, baked goods, charcuterie boards, everything you could want. And look at the view. Fantastic.”

Dobbin said there’s always a bit of nervousness when opening something new, but the weather was working in their favour.

“It’s slightly less challenging selling cold beer on a hot day like this,” Dobbin said.

Chris Conway is the general manager and one of the co-owners of Landwash Brewery, which set up a newly made beer trailer with taps on the side under a white tent.

“We wanted to make something so we could have a kind of food truck for beer situation that could be put down here and it could stay down here all summer,” Conway said.

Last fall, Dobbin became a partner in the Mount Pearl-based brewery. When Conway and his partners heard the plan for The Wharf on Quidi Vidi, they jumped all over the opportunity, he said.

“I’m from this area originally, so I’m really, really happy,” Conway said. “We’ve got six beers on tap. You buy a ticket, you drop over to the beer shop and select your beer.”