Comment 39500

By Glass Half Full (anonymous) | Posted April 06, 2010 at 22:33:17

The downtown patios that immediately spring to mind -- Waltz, Honest Lawyer, Al Centro, Fingers, Chesters and Embassy -- set the bar low enough in terms of vibe and local wildlife that they seem more like a land grab than an amenity. (The clientele is often unappealing enough sitting on a sidewalk in broad daylight, to say nothing of how they hold up under the bald glare of streetlamps.) Skydragon is not much better, sadly. Newbies Cottage Life have a lot of real estate but few takers (this crimp in funding may be the reason they can't afford to put signage on the south face of their building), Black Forest Inn is intermittently busy and generally more civilized, and La Cantina probably rates highest but I'm sure many would consider it the patio equivalent of a gated community.

As far as the resistance encountered by insurgents like Rolly Rockets and Jimmy Gringo's, branding your establishment like it's geared to the Jackass demographic could be partly to blame. If it was a tearoom or raw food bistro looking for a little legroom, I doubt anyone would kick up a fuss. The most perfunctory market research into the Westdale ecosystem would've identified not just the presence of a transient student population, but also local landowners' sentiments about student-friendly establishments. But then those two factors -- irrational exuberance from entrepreneurs and intolerance from the local residents could be why a prosperous neighbourhood has such a rich history of revolving doors.

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