The first parklet patio in downtown Ladysmith was constructed in under 12 hours (Marsh Stevens photo)

First downtown parklet patio installed on 1st Avenue

Social distancing regulations will determine the total seat count

Update: the patio will serve customers from both Zack’s Lounge, and Appetit Food for Thought.

The first seasonal parklet patio in downtown Ladysmith has been built in front of Zack’s Lounge on 1st Avenue.

“It’s great, I think it’s very exciting,” Cole Battie, manager of Zack’s Lounge said. “It’s great that Ladysmith followed suit with the other towns. Nanaimo and Victoria put them out right away to help keep the businesses going.”

“With us as such a small restaurant, it’s been pretty tough with seating, since we can only have 12 people in here. Having this patio right on 1st Ave is going to be a cool thing, and I think people are going to enjoy it.”

The patio occupies three parking spaces directly in front of Zack’s Lounge and Appetit Food for Thought. Customers from both restaurants will be able to use the patio. Appetit customers will have usage of the patio in the morning, and Zack’s customers will have usage in the afternoon.

“Our two businesses have been working side-by-side with each other for a long time,” said Martin Tang, owner of Appetit. “I’ve lost over 50 percent of my capacity. At the end of the day, we’re running a business and trying to make a living. It’s been very hard.”

RELATED: Martin Tang’s thoughtful approach to food in downtown Ladysmith

Tang hopes the additional seating space will make customers more comfortable dining downtown.

Social distancing regulations will determine the total seat count. The patio features a guard rail around the edges to keep patrons safe from 1st Avenue traffic. Patrons will be able to order drinks from Zack’s and enjoy them on the patio.

RELATED: Town of Ladysmith updates plans to help businesses recover from COVID-19

Building owners Justin and Andrea Guellette paid for the costs of developing the patio, including engineered drawings from Harold Engineering, as well as the costs of materials and construction.

As part of their efforts to help businesses recover from COVID-19, the Town of Ladysmith waived application fees for parklets and patios.Sidewalk patio permits are issued for the eight month season from March 1 to October 31, reoccurring annually.

Individual business owners determine whether they would like to have a parklet in front of their business. The Town said that Development Services has not received any new parklet applications, however several businesses have inquired about installing them.

The Town is still waiting on the delivery of patio tables for downtown due to a delay in obtaining brackets for the tables. There is no definite date for when the tables will be installed on 1st Avenue.

In the meantime, the town has placed a picnic table in the vicinity of the Wigwam Restaurant and Islander Hotel as a temporary measure until the new tables are ready for installation.

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