Restaurant patios back in business in London
LONDON, ONT. -- The patio bevies might taste a little sweeter as of Friday.
For the first time since the province declared a state of emergency nearly three months ago patrons have been able to go to their favourite restaurant or pub and actually stay a while.
Carrie Butt, who was relaxing at The Scot’s Corner patio on Dundas Place, said it’s been 90 days since her last pint, and it feels good to get out.
“I know you can go to the beer store and buy a beer, but a pint is so much different than opening up a bottle and it’s been amazing.”
Eating establishments are finally allowed to open patios, albeit with physical distancing measures in place.
That means tables are placed at least two meters apart, and there’s no dining allowed inside.
The Scot’s Corner manager Billy Thomson said the three month lag was the longest the popular British pub has been closed since 1988.
“The good thing with having Dundas as a flex street we kind of knew our dimensions we could have anyway. So, it was a little bit of quick thing when the premier said on Monday, open on Friday. That threw a little curve ball getting it going, but yeah we got it done.”
Patio openings are part of the province’s Phase-two reopening plan, as the economy gradually ramps back up.
At Chuck’s Roadhouse on Richmond Row the entire parking lot has been cordoned off for picnic tables.
Owner Tom Sada said returning staff continue to follow strict protocols.
“The staff, every day they have to sign-in. There’s a question they have to answer- whether they have a fever, whether they’ve been somewhere, whether they’ve been in contact with someone. It’s just to protect our other staff and our guests. Everybody has to wear gloves, and everybody has to wear a mask.”
At the Covent Garden Market, the two restaurants facing King St., Olive R. Twist and Waldo’s, are open for patio business.
There’s limited table seating in the market square.
Market manager Bob Usher, who also serves as the president of the Tourism London board of directors, said he’s hoping for a quick transition to whatever the new normal becomes
“We’re not a restaurant at this point. We’re more of a grocery store than anything else. That’s why we’ve taken all the tables and chairs out of our food court. And we’re hoping in the next couple of weeks the province will amend that and we’ll see what happens.”
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission is also giving restaurants a green light to extend their patios to accommodate more customers, pending municipal regulations.