A handful of Fish Hoek residents have started a petition to shut down a local beach restaurant called the Galley, claiming that the service is appalling and their standards very low.
Fish Hoek resident, Darlene West, created the petition to change the local amenities at the beach following consistent dissatisfaction from those who live in the immediate area.
“Fish Hoek Residents are fed up, and aim to take action one way or another, to bring about change. We, as the people of Fish Hoek, want better options available on this, our shared, communal space,” reads the petition.
According to upset residents, it is also making it impossible for other restaurants to offer another option to beach-goers as it holds the only space available on the beachfront.
The restaurant is perfectly positioned on the beach front with spectacular views of the ocean. There is both outdoor and indoor seating with an extensive menu that caters for both children and adults.
In response to the petition and continuous criticism, owner Mathea Eichel denied the allegations made against her restaurant and claims it is not an issue of standards or service, but rather a personal grudge against her.
“It is a very long story that goes back years. I started this restaurant and built it with my pension money and lifesavings. Since 1987 I have been contributing to the community and have even helped establish two creches nearby through my business.
“This is not an issue of service or standards. It is about people who are against me for racial reasons. I am a coloured person operating in the area and some people are not happy about this. How will I contribute to the community if my business is closed down?” asked Eichel.
Eichel also says that residents come to the restaurant, complain about trivial things and harass her and the staff which makes her believe it is a personal attack on her.
The petition which has been doing the rounds in several social media groups says: “The Galleys Restaurant at Fish Hoek Beach offers an appalling service. It has been for years. It holds the monopoly in terms of competitors, and precludes other businesses from offering healthy competition which may help ‘raise the bar’ in terms of services and standards.”
The petition was started on January 11, 2020 and has already gathered 584 signatures.
A search on Trip Advisor came up with as many negative comments as there were positive ones. Some have called the service non-existent and others have commended the great service.