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Supporters of In Common rally out front of the eatery Friday afternoon after the owners were locked out by the firm which owns the building (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

Lockout prompts rally of support for restaurant

By Adam Riley Jul 21, 2023 | 7:33 PM

The owner of In Common, a popular eatery in downtown Port Arthur, is demanding answers after an Ottawa firm changed the locks on the entrances to 40 and 42 Cumberland Street South, which houses the restaurant.

“We met with our landlords yesterday to discuss the ongoing issues we’ve been having with this historic building from 1865,” said Dani Thunder speaking to Acadia News Friday afternoon. “We’ve have had no headway, no movement with our landlords in terms of working to get the building back to where it needs to be so that we are operable and can continue with our expansion.”

Issues with the building include flooding in the basement, black mold, and a furnace which broke in the dead of winter which was not addressed for a month causing the loss of product, which was further compounded by the air conditioning unit from above leaking into the staff washroom.

“We got notice at 2:00 a.m. via text saying that locks have been put on the doors and we’ll chat in the morning.”

Notice which was posted on the door of In Common after the locks were changed early morning Friday (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

The building is owned by H.O.M.E. Group Ventures, which according to its website does property management and real estate investment, purchased the building in 2022.

Thunder took to social media to inform others of the events which prompted an outpouring of support including a rally.

As of Friday afternoon Thunder says she has not heard from either of the firms two listed directors, Marley Giunta or Alec Mead, in an attempt to gain access to the building to get personal and confidential items, such as a computer to be able to do payroll for her employees.

She also laments over the loss of business as a result.

“I have about $5000 worth of food and product on the line that was ready to be sold this weekend. We have a cruise ship sitting in our bay right now, you know waiting, we’re number on on Google in terms of restaurants.  We have a really good reputation and we’re losing revenue.”

Thunder has even sought out the assistance of law enforcement.

“The Thunder Bay Police also reached out to them to see if we could at lease exchange some of my belongings so I can at least run payroll for my staff for them to get paid on Monday, and have not heard anything from them at all.”

Acadia News contacted H.O.M.E. Venture Group through its number listed on a notice posted to In Common’s door, but received no response as of Friday evening.

Online information of the firm shows it was established in 2020 and its corporate record status is list as Active – Dissolution Pending (Non-compliance).


Thunder says she plans to continue to try and reach out to H.O.M.E. Group Ventures, and is worried what happened to In Common could happen at other properties in the city.

“This never had to happen this way, there’s better ways of doing business and  this just shows that companies coming in, not local, you know they really don’t care about what our community has to offer.”


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