Downtown Vernon’s The Fig has a few bistro tables outside and will remain open for pickup during B.C.’s ban on indoor dining. (The Fig photo)

Downtown Vernon’s The Fig has a few bistro tables outside and will remain open for pickup during B.C.’s ban on indoor dining. (The Fig photo)

Restaurants stay ‘Okanagan strong’ through new COVID restrictions

Grab your toque and support a local patio near you

It may not be typical patio weather, but put on a toque and join the ‘Okanagan Strong’ movement to support local.

Restaurants have been forced into tough situations following Monday’s ban on indoor dining.

Some are using the opportunity to open their patios early, while others have no choice but to close their doors for the three-week period.

READ MORE: B.C. stops indoor dining, fitness, religious service due to COVID-19 spike

Due to the March 29 public health order, Diner on Six is will be closed for dine-in and takeout until April 19.

“We apologize we can’t be here to serve you right now and look forward to welcoming you back when we reopen,” the Highway 6 restaurant said.

Over at the Outboard Waterfront Pub, owners say crazy times call for crazy measures, and they are sticking to their plans to open the patio March 31

“We have decided that we the ‘Okanagan Strong’ will endure… we won’t allow Mother Nature to slow our momentum! We are Canadians, we put our shorts on when others hibernate,” the Okanagan Landing pub said.

“After all, a true Canadian spring always involves, a toque, sunscreen, patio and a cold beer!”

Over in downtown Vernon, the Kal will have its indoor patio open (with the garage doors open), the smoking patio, which is temporarily non-smoking and it will once again expand into its parking lot.

Marten Brewing has a few sidewalk tables they will be able to utilize.

Local coffee shops like Ratio and Triumph also have outdoor bistro tables. While those without, like the Boarding House Cafe, will remain open only for takeout.

Patio season is coming early at Sir Winston’s rooftop, opening April 1.

The Phoenix Steakhouse rooftop patio is open, but dining time limits are in place and reservations are advised.

Many of those without patios are remaining open for takeout amid the restrictions.

“Disappointing for sure, but that won’t keep us down,” Rosalinda’s said.

Also only open for takeout, Raku Rice and Noodle Bar said: “It is too bad we have to go through this again.”

In the meantime, customers are encouraged to support local restaurants as much as they can afford.

“As strange and as difficult as this past year has been, it has revealed the strength and resilience of our small business community,” The Fig owner David Scarlatescu said.

“The community has come together to support one another like we’ve never seen before. Whether it’s three more weeks or three more months, we will prevail.”

Sherman and Katie Dahl, owners of Wings, Italian Kitchen and Top Choice Pizza, are optimistic about the future following customer support.

“Although life has tribulations such as COVID that can be miserable and difficult, it also offers richness and lovely aspects. The final night of regular dining last (Monday) night was a good example – we had very happy and pleasant guests that streamed into all our locations and wished us the very best and promised to support us. It is nice to note that the occasional flashes of light, the sudden sunshine that is so comforting and warm – are most important and seem to cancel out the darkness.”

Wings even welcomed their first patio guests at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

READ MORE: Vernon chamber calls for renewed restaurant support


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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