Mike Beck the owner and chef of The Kingston Social House in Scarborough said without a patio, reopening has been “borderline devastating”. Beck further explained that “It’s been a rough go without a patio. When you have a pandemic that people feel safer outside, it’s kinda hard to encourage people to come inside, no matter how good our food is, no matter how good our service is,”
Ontario has been in Step 3 of its reopening since July, allowing restaurants to permit indoor and outdoor dining with two metres distance between each table. Some customers are still hesitant to dine indoors as the pandemic continues. Beck’s restaurant features a wood-fired barbecue that mainly caters to an older demographic and young families. He considers these people as “cautious groups: when it comes to the indoor dining.
Other restaurants are facing similar challenges such as One Love Vegetarian, owned by Ikeila Wright. Her restaurant is on Bathurst Street which has too narrow and busy sidewalks to set up a comfortable patio. Wright who is also the chef at her restaurant said that “We’re in the trenches.”
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