The Omega Bar and Grill is keeping the outdoor party going all year long.
The pub, for the first time this past summer, had a seasonal patio outside their location on 11th Ave. S. The patio’s success has led them to request permission from the Town of Golden to keep it open all year round.
“Our patio was a huge success for us this summer and everyone enjoyed it. It caused no concerns or problems with either the police or the residents in the area,” stated the letter of request from the Omega.
The bar rented out three of the Town’s parking stalls for the patio, and are requesting permission to continue to rent them all year long, even though this is contrary to the Town’s policy which states:
Seasonal terms for Sidewalk Cafes begin on May 1, expire October 31, and all structures must be removed by November 7. Sidewalk Cafes occupying parking spaces or street rights-of-way shall not extend their Licenses over winter months.
This policy is in place to ensure that snow removal and other street maintenance activities in town are not hindered, especially in the downtown area.
Given that the Omega is not downtown, and that the patio as it stands does not affect snow removal or other street maintenance, Town staff recommended that council amend their policy to allow for this request.
“The difference in this case is that it’s off the street,” said Manager of Corporate Affairs Jon Wilsgard. Downtown businesses, such as the Golden Taps and the Whitetooth Bistro, use street parking stalls to set up their patios, meaning that both the parking stalls and sidewalk are Town property. The Omega, on the other hand, owns the sidewalk in front of their establishment.
“In this case, the cafe does not impose a direct impediment to maintenance of the street in the winter time,” said Wilsgard.
All outdoor patios must reapply for their licensing every year, which means that if maintenance is hindered in any way, council can reject their application in the future.
Coun. Caleb Moss raised concerns about equal treatment amongst the various businesses in town.
“By allowing this at one place and not another, we’d be favouring one business over another. That is a concern for me,” said Moss.
“Every business has location advantages… This is a unique advantage,” said Coun. Keith Hern, explaining that by disallowing this request council would be taking away an advantage that their location naturally provides.
Council approved the Omega’s request by a vote of four to two (councillors Moss and Ron Oszust voting against).