This is how restaurants are getting ready for the start of patio season in Toronto
Toronto patios are set to re-open... again. Hopefully this time it's for good, especially if you ask those working in bars and restaurants across the city, many of whom have been less than impressed with the government's flip-flopping over the past year.
With news that patios could again be open by June 14 or earlier, restaurant and bar staff across the city are staying positive and hoping to welcome back their customers in a big way.
"We're apporoaching this with a lot of optimism, morso than we've done in the past," Afron Miftari, Senior Operations Manager for Aidan Hospitality Group that oversees venues such as Prohibition Social House and Grace O'Malley's told blogTO.
"That said we're a little gun shy with ordering a lot of stuff."
It's understandable that a few bars and restaurants may be hesitant in investing a lot of money into their reopening considering how much money many establishments lost during Doug Ford's last flip flop.
Despite that, many places are looking to come back in a big way. Prohibition Social House in Riverside has expanded their patio to allow up to 50 tables.
CRAFT Beer Market in the Financial District has also expanded their patio, now allowing for as many as 250 people.
"The biggest worry for us right now is they won't give us enough notice," Alastair Knight, Market Partner for Ontario at CRAFT Beer Market told blogTO.
Knight however acknowledges that though he and his team are looking forward to reopening, there's still some tough times ahead, especially for those without the sort of patio space they have.
"My heart goes out to those guys, they're my competition but also my friends," Knight said.
Meanwhile, other restaurants such as Le Phenix in Parkdale, are seeing this as just another transition of their operations, much like the ones they've had to make over the past year.
"We've been really fortunate, throughout the pandemic we haven't really been closed at all," Jacob Wharton-Shukster owner of Le Phenix told blogTO.
"We were one of the first restaurants to open for takeout operations in 2020, I think we closed for two days."
With patios reopening soon, the Le Phenix team is ready to welcome customers back to their location with a new patio cover to stay open regardless of the weather, as well as a redesigned menu.
Whether it's new menus, expanded patios, or just excitement over being open for business again, many bars and restaurants across Toronto are very excited for the return of some kind of normalcy this summer.
While it's still very possible that things could change, rising vaccination numbers across the city mean that dining outdoors is finally in sight.
Fareen Karim at Craft
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