Patios in a Pandemic

1_5020583Who doesn’t enjoy sitting on a patio on a sunny summer day, sipping their favorite beverage or indulging in a picnic that is prepared by someone else and delivered to your table? Why is it then, that it took a world pandemic for cities like Windsor to get their heads out of their arses and do the patio thing right.

Other cities have been doing it for years, and not just in Europe. Restaurants and bars have been after the city for years, trying to give patrons what they want, allowing them to enjoy the long summer season that our area has to offer. Past downtown business owners must be cursing the city, seeing the success newer establishments are enjoying.

Back in the dinosaur age, when I used to walk a beat downtown, I couldn’t understand why they didn’t shut down Ouellette avenue. There was barely any place to park on the street and it eventually had to be barricaded because of bumper to bumper traffic that cruised up and down the strip.

But hell no, we couldn’t do that permanently. Where else would those ten cars park and how could businesses take deliveries? There’s something else I learned working downtown – there are alleys that run behind all those businesses and parking garages that very rarely operate at capacity.

So, I guess there really wasn’t any good reason to allow patios to expand onto sidewalks and into parking spots, because I haven’t heard anyone complaining about it. If you haven’t seen what’s happening in Leamington, Kingsville, Essex, Belle River, Amherstburg, and even good old Windsor, check it out. Cold drinks and good grub await you in pandemic patio paradise.

Rino’s Kitchen & Ale House

Carbonara

Formerly the Nesbitt Inn, Rino’s Kitchen and Ale House is a small restaurant on the fringe of downtown Windsor that is big on character and flavor. Meals are served inside a one hundred year old stately brick home on Elliott Street at Pelissier. It’s far enough from the bar scene to have ample parking right next door.

Chef Rino Bortolin proudly uses local ingredients for his ever-changing menu, and he offers local craft beer and wine. His prices are fair and offerings range from burger to lamb shank. The atmosphere is cozy and casual. In the warmer weather tables are set up outside on the deck and sometimes in the back yard.

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