Coronavirus: Youth Opportunities Unlimited brings back training programs on downtown patio

There will be screening and contact-tracing at picnic tables. . YOU Made it Cafe/Twitter

A London, Ont., cafe has officially opened its new patio to serve the community while providing youth with the opportunity to train and develop skills during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Steve Cordes, the executive director of Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), spoke with 980 CFPL’s Jess Brady on The Afternoon Show Thursday.

He says the YOU Made It Cafe, a training organization for youth, has opened its patio, which used to belong to GT.

“We’ve got this amazing patio that used to be GT, (which stood) for ‘Good Times.’ We’re thinking we got to rebrand this to ‘Great Times,'” said Cordes.

“Not only is it a great location, (it’s) helping community, and I think that makes it go from good to great.

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Cordes says when the cafe shut down in March due to COVID-19, there was a tremendous loss of opportunities for young people to practice their customer service skills.

“This (allows) youth to get great experience, let people support our cause, and just enjoy a really, really great patio.”

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Toronto business calls for more flexibility with CafeTO program'
Coronavirus: Toronto business calls for more flexibility with CafeTO program

The patio allows for a maximum of 65 diners. There will be screening and contact-tracing at picnic tables.

Cordes says they’re also asking diners to bring masks.

“(Masks) are not required on the patio, but they will be required if you go inside to use the washroom.”

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The YOU Made It Cafe’s new patio is operating Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Cordes is confident it’ll remain open until fall.

“We’re just so fortunate to have this resource available to us, so we’ve been working on this opening for a couple of months.”

We’re ready to go, so let’s just get going on this.”

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