Penticton restaurants, cafes and breweries are considering winter patios during this pandemic. (Stock shot)

Penticton restaurants, cafes and breweries are considering winter patios during this pandemic. (Stock shot)

Penticton businesses look at winter patio potential

Restaurants, pubs and cafes have relied on outdoor seating during the pandemic

With summer weather nearly over and COVID-19 not about to go away anytime soon, restaurants and other businesses are starting to think about how they host their customers.

Through the summer, restaurants, cafes and breweries throughout Penticton turned to their patio spaces to keep their doors open.

“We have a really big patio, and we’ve been able to space out events, and make sure they’re always six feet apart,” said Sam McNally, one of the operators of the Nautical Dog Cafe.

Businesses like the Nautical Dog Cafe, Barley Mill Brew Pub, and Cannery Brewing were able to use their outdoor spaces to make up for the loss of capacity inside. Cannery Brewing opened up their building’s backyard for extra capacity this summer.

READ MORE: Expanded patios approved by RDOS

“It was a planned expansion, it happened to work out extremely well during COVID,” said Kim Lawton, marketing director for Cannery Brewing.

“The patio was great in the summertime, with the tourists, we had room for everybody,” said Kori Iceton, the Barley Mill’s marketing manager “The outdoor space really made people feel comfortable.”

Now, with the days growing shorter and the weather starting to cool, those outdoor spaces may potentially have to close, or go through significant changes. Before businesses start gearing up for winter, a potentially costly investment, they’re hoping that the pandemic in B.C. doesn’t worsen and that they can keep their doors open for as long as they can.

“I think we’re all doing a dance right now, hoping for a few more weeks of good weather,” said Lawton.

“For us here, we tried to keep the patio as long as we could last year,” said McNally. “We’ve looked into it, and it’s quite the capital investment. We’re going to see how it goes, doing it our traditional way.”

The City of Penticton doesn’t currently have a policy specifically for winter patios, as they have not previously needed one.

“Yes, we would consider approval of winter patios if there was a business wanting to create one,” said Blake Laven, director of development services for the city. “We would need to ensure adherence to minimum health and safety standards of course, which I understand can be a bit of a challenge with heating outdoor spaces.”

The feasibility for allowing and regulating winter patios has been a topic of discussion among city staff, after they recently received an open letter from the BC Restaurant Association, Alliance of Beverage Licencees and Breweries Guild for their support.

Whether Penticton businesses would install heaters outside, or cover the patios to effectively expand the inside seating, is too early to tell, but something that is being considered.

“We have a few potential solutions up our sleeve, but we’re going to wait and see what the business demands are,” said Iceton. “We’re looking at a tent option, heaters, but we have so much space inside that we think it might be okay.”

Other municipalities in the Okanagan including Osoyoos and Oliver are also considering winter patios for their businesses.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Local Business

Just Posted

This parking on the east side of Martin Street will be removed permanently Monday morning (June 21, 2021) to put in the Lake to Lake bike lane. (City of Penticton)
Parking removed permanently to make way for bike lane in downtown Penticton

Work begins Monday morning to replace parking spots with bike lane on Martin Street

Jaimee Peters photo of a Willow Midwives helping with a birth. Willow closed its doors March 31 because of a shortage of midwives. (Contributed)
South Okanagan’s only midwifery to re-open this summer

Willow Community Midwives was forced to close because of a shortage of midwives

Gord Portman getting ready for the Father’s Day dunk tank fundraiser for Discovery House. So far Portman has raised $3,000. (Facebook)
Penticton man takes the plunge for recovery house that helped save his life

Gord Portman said Discovery House and Pathways have been everything in his 1 year sobriety

(File photo)
Supreme Court Justice rules Bay has to pay Penticton’s Cherry Lane mall

The ruling found that there had been no unavoidable delay preventing the Bay from paying their rent

Summerland cidery Millionaires' Row is hosting a Father's Day car and art show. (Facebook)
Vintage cars, art and cider for Father’s Day

Summerland’s Millionaires’ Row Cider Co. is hosting the car and art show

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read