This joint sidewalk café is now open in front of the Black Duck Inn and Thunder & Lightning Pub on Bridge Street. TOWER PHOTO
SACKVILLE, N.B. – Two downtown businesses have partnered to set up a joint sidewalk café on Bridge Street for the summer.
With recent approval from town council, the Black Duck Inn café and Thunder & Lightning Pub have installed a combined sidewalk patio in front of their neighbouring shops at 19 and 21 Bridge Street. To accommodate the patio on the entire sidewalk, a temporary walkway was required to be built beyond the curb for pedestrian traffic, into the parking spaces.
Town council gave the go-ahead for the joint sidewalk café during its monthly meeting May 13, but not without voicing several concerns over the new patio.
Deputy Mayor Joyce O’Neil and Coun. Bruce Phinney, the only two to oppose the sidewalk café application, said they were voting against the request mainly because of the loss of more parking spaces along Bridge Street.
“I’m really concerned about losing the four parking spaces down there; it’s too excessive,” said O’Neil.
Phinney said with the sidewalk café set-ups across the street, at Ducky’s and Bridge Street Café, it has already become a challenge to find a parking spot in the downtown.
“We have an aging population . . . and for those who want to find a spot to park downtown, it’s getting more difficult to have that,” said Phinney. “That’s four more spaces you’re taking away from seniors, some of who just can’t walk that far.”
Coun. Shawn Mesheau said with the rise in requests for sidewalk cafés, he hopes town council and staff will try to come up with a better approach in the future on how to deal with these concerns.
“As we continue to go down this road, which is an important road to go down to encourage this type of set-up, what avenues are being looked at to offset the loss of parking that will happen on Bridge Street?” asked Mesheau.
With this latest sidewalk patio setting up, there will still be a total of 22 parking spaces available on Bridge Street (including two handicapped spots).
As with other sidewalk café applications, the operators must comply with all requirements of the town’s sidewalk café operating procedures; must not operate beyond 11 p.m.; requires proper delineation; and must provide proof of proper insurance.