Neighboring Comox restaurants share patios for mutual benefit during COVID restrictions – Comox Valley Record
Two Comox restaurants are working together to help ease the burden of increased COVID public restaurant restrictions.
The Tidal Café (146 rue Port Augusta) and the Mediterranean Grill Toscano (140 rue Port Augusta) are neighbors.
When Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the shutdown of indoor dining as part of the province’s “breaker” strategy, the owners of Tidal Café, Kurt and Blythe Reimer, and the chef and general manager of Toscano , Tristan Taylor, have joined forces for a mutually beneficial arrangement.
“It was a few days after the new bylaw came into effect, Blythe and Kurt came over and said, ‘How about we share patios, to have a few more seats? “I thought it was a great idea,” Taylor said.
Both restaurants have small patios for outdoor dining. The Tidal Café is a breakfast / lunch spot, while the Toscano is a dinner restaurant, so their schedules don’t clash which made it easier to collaborate.
The layout has worked well for both businesses and has been of tremendous benefit to Toscano, who owns the smaller of the two patios.
The two companies are not related in any way and the only affiliation they share is the same owner.
Kurt said they contacted their landlord who was ok with this, and the insurance simply asked both parties to sign a waiver.
“We told our owners because they own the whole building, and they said it sounded like a win-win proposition,” Kurt said. “As far as insurance is concerned, she said… as long as we do our normal operations, anything that falls under that normal operation is fully covered.”
With additional spacing in place to comply with COVID public health orders, Toscano only has a few four-seat tables available.
The Tidal can accommodate four tables.
“One evening last weekend, they sat at nine (parties) during the evening on our (patio),” Kurt said.
“It filled up pretty well,” Taylor said. “I can now sit at six tables, instead of just two, so that’s great.”
There is a slight downside.
“The only thing that doesn’t work, and it’s probably more to their disadvantage than ours, is that liquor licenses can’t cross, so unfortunately I think it’s a crime to have pasta without red wine, so people will have to sit on our patio, eating their good food, without the wine to complement it, ”Kurt said.
“We’re just letting our customers know that they can’t drink alcohol on that side, but most customers have been pretty sympathetic about that,” Taylor said.
Kurt said the arrangement has paid off for both companies.
“Necessity is the mother of all invention, so we said okay, we kind of have to do it,” he said. “It has worked very well so far.”
Taylor said the bonus was that it helped him get to know his neighbors better.
“They are very nice people, easy going and very understanding. Overall, this arrangement is just a great ‘community first’ vibe, ”he said.