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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sidewalk patios come out this week, but few take to the streets

Did you sit outside for lunch or have a drink on the Argyle strip to celebrate the start of patio season in Halifax? Have you spotted a patio? Let us know.

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2009 at 2:15 PM

Pull the tarp off the Camaro and take off your shirt, it's time to troll along Argyle Street to celebrate Patio Day. In the past, Patio Day landed on May 1, but this year, thanks to the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, patio season starts April 21.

What is Patio Day? It is the day our city's small but dedicated cadre of boulevardiers come out to play, because City Hall lets restaurants and bars set up their Summer sidewalk patios. If it's sunny, Shoptalk thinks Patio Day should be a holiday where Haligonians are required to sit on a patio, drink all afternoon, get lobster red, freezing cold and zigzag home by six.

The problem is, most places on the Argyle strip haven't set up their patios yet. For a patio to exist, it all comes down to warmth. Several bar owners told Shoptalk people go crazy for patios when they see them, but most sane people don't eat nachos in ten degree weather. After ten minutes in the cold, they want back inside. Problem is, on a busy Friday, the bar's full. That's a conundrum most businesses want to avoid, ergo patios come out in May.

The Economy Shoe Shop (1663 Argyle) and the Foggy Goggle (1667 Argyle) will start building their patio this week-end. The Argyle Bar & Grill's (1575 Argyle) patio will be ready for Friday if the sun is shining and it heats up, but perennial Best Patio winner Your Father's Moustache (5686 Spring Garden) will stick to tradition and open their rooftop patio May 1. Likewise, the new Wooden Monkey (1707 Grafton) confirmed they will start a Grafton patio in May, too.

So, as Patio Day fizzles, remember this nautical motto: sunshine at noon, beer swilling soon; foggy at two, stay in for your brew. For details on patios in the city, visit the's patio guide. Want a patio? Contact your local business association to get their application form. Seen a working patio? Let us know.

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