March 25, 2013 - 7:37 PM
By Julie Whittet
With construction moving along swiftly, it shouldn't be too much longer before you're able to sit outdoors and enjoy a drink at any number of new patios on the revitalized Bernard Avenue.
City Council finalized a new fee structure today that encourages the street's restaurants to get their outdoor seating up and running for the summer.
Tenants will be able to run their patios free of charge for the next two years. After that, they will be able to submit their receipts for patio construction to qualify for a discounted rental fee. The city says these discounts will provide further incentive for business owners to enhance their patio seating in the coming years.
Louis Drummond, owner of the Sturgeon Hall pub on Water Street, says patios allow people to get the most out the city.
“It's the Okanagan, it's sunny and hot, and when you're cooped up for months in the winter, it's a nice change.”
Over at Doc Willoughby's Pub, manager Corey Rarick says having a patio space is “an awesome asset.”
“Kelowna is beautiful and people want to be out people watching and sit in the sunshine, and have a cold beer.”
Rarick says patio seating, which has been operating for close to seven years, allows the pub to accommodate an extra 30 customers.
“It's a bit more of a social event, I guess, rather than hiding inside in the dark during the daytime.”
He says Bernard Avenue revitalization won't change their patio too much. “It'll be shaped differently, but the patio will remain the same size,” he says. “Ours was already one of the bigger ones.”
Rarick is glad to see street construction moving a bit ahead of schedule, and hopes to have his patios open in time for the May long weekend.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at email@example.com or call (250) 718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013