Jupiter mulling charging Guanabanas, Square Grouper customers for parking

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

JUPITER, FL(WFLX)-- Charlene Wilson is sold on Guanabanas, the jungle-themed restaurant and tiki bar that has taken Jupiter by storm.

"Oh we love it, tropical, beautiful we love it," she said.

Part of the attraction, parking is easy-- practically right across the street-- and most importantly free.

But what if she had to pay?

"Oh, that wouldn't be a good thing. I don't like paying for parking, I don't even pay to valet," she added.

But turning this free lot on Love street and A1A into a pay lot could become a reality.

That's because the operator of the lot defaulted on it's rent payment to the town of Jupiter which owns it and pays for the property tax bill.

Jupiter is exploring passing on that cost to customers, unless the two properties in the Jupiter Inlet Village who use the lot, Guanabanas and nearby Square Grouper, pay up over $100,000.

Guanabanas managing partner John Zimmerman says he's willing to pay his share to make sure customers don't pay for parking.

"We certainly hope not. It's our hope that we will be able to work with the town of Jupiter to come up with an arrangement with businesses to be able to work together and to have a municipal parking lot for people not pay to park," he said.

But some customers feel the town of Jupiter should be left holding the bag.

"Everyone who lives in this town pays abnormally high property taxes and the town reaps the benefits. No reason we should be charged on a property they own," said bar-goer Tom Hansen.