Restaurants fed up with patio process

Owners and their customers are calling on the city to speed up the approval of sidewalk patios.

Diners highlight slow approval process with "bring your own patio" protest Friday night

 Restaurant owners and diners are calling on the City of Edmonton to make it easier for businesses to set up outdoor patios.

"A little bit over a year now that we've tried to get the patio," said Daniel Braun, owner of Tres Carnales Taqueria on Rice Howard Way.

Restaurant owner Daniel Braun says he's been working on getting approval for a sidewalk patio for over a year. (CBC News)

"We were really hopeful that we would get it for this summer but unfortunately it didn't."

Braun said he was originally supposed to get a decision on putting a patio on the sidewalk outside his restaurant in May. That date was pushed back to June and then eventually into September.

It’s a frustration that is shared by other business owners.

Gill Tataev, who opened his Crepe Symphony Cafe on the same street, was well aware of the difficulties in getting a patio when he opened his business four months ago.

"After I heard what they went through it kind of discouraged me to even try," he said.

Diners protest slow process

Customers are also complaining about the long wait for patios.

Friday night, some of Braun’s regulars set up lawn chairs on Rice Howard Way, creating their own patios outside the restaurant to protest the city’s approach.

"We'd really just like to bring this issue to the forefront. Strike while the iron is hot," said Leslie Bush, who helped organize the protest.

"I'd like to see a patio in front of every restaurant on every street if possible."

City Council is expected to look at a report on streamlining the approval process in the fall.

Braun is hopeful that they’ll take a different approach, which he says would benefit the city as well as his business.

"For us, this street is more like a pedway. So to us, it should be appropriated a little bit more to food vendors that are making the best out of the summer outside and are bringing more a lively atmosphere to downtown."