I was downtown with my assistant earlier this week and we decided to grab a bite to eat for lunch. I was thrilled to see so many Dunlop St restaurants have taken advantage of City of Barrie’s by-law allowing outdoor patios to be built along Dunlop St. Yes, I understand that it reduces parking in front of these establishments, but what a great pay off!
We walked along the north side of Dunlop and noticed that workers were putting the finishing touches on a lengthy wooden patio to be shared by at least four bars/restaurants. It is a good quality wooden walking area with attractive cast iron railings as boundaries. We decided to stop at Donaleigh's
and we had a great experience. There was room for 4 tables in the front and there was non-stop foot traffic while we were there. The service was awesome and the waitress seemed quite happy to be able to serve patrons outside on such a nice day. The other thing we noticed was that it wasn’t overly noisy. We weren’t bothered by the cars and trucks driving by and it was nice to see so many people walking along. We even started to imagine what it would be like if Dunlop St were closed to vehicles between Bayfield St and Mulcaster St. That would be some patio!
We should all remember the small businesses that make their livelihood in our downtown core and make the effort to visit their locations over the summer. The loss of a few parking spots along Dunlop is more than made up for in the larger parking lots and parkades that surround the area. Our downtown businesses work hard to attract and keep your business and I am pleased to be able to patronize their shops and restaurants.