The patio season for restaurants and bars across Saskatchewan and Canada is usually only a handful of months.
But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have faced their struggles, while the government imposed social distancing protocols such as tables being six feet apart and no more than six people being seated per table.
Since their reopening in early June, the response and support from the community has been a welcomed sight as the restaurant had some uncertainty, leading to the discussion of how to extend their patio season.
Manager Jason Wosminity says the idea was made as a way to allow customers to feel safe and provide an alternative eating option to takeout.
“Having those few extra seats will certainly help the bottom line keeping more staff employed and working,” said Wosminity.
“That’s what’s important.”
He says the structure cost a couple thousand dollars, but was well worth it.
“It’s about the customers and the staff and providing what we can to make things work,” he said.
Through a connection, they got in touch with Night Owl Entertainment. Their area of expertise is live music events and behind-the-scenes work such as building sound stages or helping set up Canada Day firework displays.
With the pandemic effectively bringing the live music scene in Saskatoon to a near stop, they have had to get creative in keeping their business alive. They have been involved in the music industry for four decades.
“(We have been) thinking outside the box,” said owner Bill Webster. “We came up with this idea with some of the guys that work with me.
“We were able to implement this (custom) structure outside of Las Palapas.”
Webster says it took them about three hours to construct the cover. The design of the cover looks very similar to the one you would see at a concert to protect the stage from wind and rain.
His son Andrew, who is an audio technician and production manager, says a lot of businesses in the city have had to move out of their comfort zone and find ways to stay alive during these challenging times.
“Like any industry, a wide swath of businesses today have had to look at ways of remaining viable within their particular niche,” said Andrew Webster.
Bill Webster says they are open to helping out any other businesses that need something in the realm of their expertise — building sound stages — to give them a call.
As for the patio covering, it will be used for as long as possible.
“As long as Mother Nature lets us have it up, as long as customers are willing to be out there, we will keep it up,” said Wosminity.
He says similar to other cities in the country that have extended their patio season, he expects more places in Saskatoon to do the sameView link »