By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
HALDIMAND—One of the simple pleasures of summer is settling down for a nice cold drink and a meal on a patio. With Haldimand officially in Stage 2 of the Province’s reopening plan, local patrons can finally enjoy this classic tradition, but may find the patio experience a little different than they remembered it.
“It’s a new thing for everyone,” said local restaurateur Paul Bettencourt, owner of Main 88 Pizza Pub in Hagersville. “A new patio for us, a new patio for customers. All the restaurants are going to be going through a learning curve, and so will customers.”
Temporary patios like the one at Main 88 are popping up as part of an initiative supported by the County to allow more flexible options for restaurants struggling to survive the pandemic.
“Haldimand County recognizes the impact that closures as a result of the pandemic have had on local businesses. As businesses begin to reopen under new capacity restrictions, Haldi-mand County is providing these businesses the ability to erect a temporary patio on private property during this time,” explained Lidy Romanuk, Manager of Economic Development and Tourism for the County.
According to Romanuk, the County has received 11 applications, with nine approved and two in progress as of publication. Romanuk mentioned that most applications were approved in a day, as County staff try to make the process as manageable as possible. Approved businesses are issued a temporary permit for their patio until January 1, 2021 or until the restrictions in place due to COVID-19 are lifted.
“This program is intended to be flexible in granting permission to commercial establishments. The program will consider various types of patios that make use of private property, including the use of parking spots on the property. It is intended that patios will be granted for establishments located in the defined downtown areas and community improvement project areas. Commercial areas and hamlets can also be considered,” said Romanuk.