Sarnia patios getting ready to reopen

The patio at A Cup A Coffee in Sarnia. (Photo from the restaurant's Facebook)

Bar and restaurant patios across Sarnia are getting set to reopen.

The Ontario government announced on Monday that Step 1 of its Roadmap to Reopen will go into effect on Friday at 12:01 a.m. The move means Ontarians will be able to go into stores, go camping, and dine on patios.

A Cup a’ Coffee’s Reem Amayem said they’re expecting to see a lot of familiar faces when they open up at 6 a.m. Friday.

“I’m assuming people are antsy to go out — I know I am — so I’m sure we’ll probably be busy Friday nights and in the morning,” said Amayem. “It seems like a lot of people are very excited. A lot of them are saying ‘we’re going to see you on Friday.'”

Amayem said their patio can seat around 60 people and that they’re hoping to expand it a little more to be able to fit closer to 100 patrons.

She said their patio got pretty busy after they opened it up last year.

“We had a bunch of newcomers, people that never even had been into our restaurant. They came to try our patio and they just became our customers throughout.”

Amayem said they’re recalling staff, doing interviews and hiring new people so that the restaurant is ready for Friday.

The patio at the Alternate Grounds Cafe & Dockside in Sarnia. (Photo from the cafe's Facebook)

The patio at the Alternate Grounds Cafe & Dockside in Sarnia. (Photo from the cafe’s Facebook page)

Dockside Restaurant Owner Tammy Elliott said they have a lot to do to get ready to open up Saturday.

“We need to get food ordered in and prepped, staff back and trained, booze and beer dropped off, menus printed, patio rearranged and cleaned up, all that stuff,” said Elliott. “We’ve been waiting and we had plans to open up next Wednesday, but we’re kind of scrambling a little bit to be ready for Saturday.”

Elliott said people seem to be excited to return to the patio.

“I’m getting a ton of text messages, phone calls, Facebook messages, Instagram messages, doorbell ringing, everything,” she said. “I’ve got 17 tables and I’m allowed to have four at each table, so [I’ll fit] as many as I can.”

Elliott said it will be first-come-first-serve at the restaurant, with a 90-minute time limit on each table.

She also said that for the first time, they’ll be able to serve cocktails to people waiting.

Refined Fool Senior Sales Executive Greg Edgar said they’ll be opening up the patio for a few hours at their Davis Street location at 12:01 a.m. Friday. The Refined Fool on London Road will open its patio at 11 a.m.

Edgar said they’re really excited to welcome back their customers and staff.

“It means we’re progressing towards a better future here. Hopefully all of our friends in the service industry, all of the bars and restaurants in our city, can be a beacon for the entire community of better times ahead, and everyone can get out this weekend and have some fun and support local.”

Edgar said their London Road location has 14 tables on the patios on the east side and the west side, and that the Davis Street location has 12 tables.

Bar and restaurant patios have been closed in Ontario since early April.

-With files from Natalia Vega and Josh Boyce