New Downtown Patio Experience

LOCAL Public Eatery, Downtown Medicine Hat.July 30, 2021

Downtown Medicine Hat invites travelers and residents to experience the many newly constructed and renovated patios throughout the core.

“We’re seeing more people enjoy the downtown for the convenience of walking from one patio to another,” says Darin McKay, general manager, LOCAL Public Eatery. “We gain collective support as a business community, and we think that’s really important and essential to a lively downtown.”

LOCAL started their renovations with vibrant furniture, and then re-painted the exterior of the building, replaced the patio flooring, built an outdoor stage for live entertainment and added a new pizza oven to the open kitchen. They will soon use their Waterfront District Vibrancy Incentive provided by the City of Medicine Hat and Invest Medicine Hat to extend their patio season and add electrical heaters to the spacious outdoor area.

“We have an extended boardwalk patio that sits on the sidewalk, and to see them pop-up more and more, it’s amazing how that alone has changed the atmosphere of the downtown,” says McKay.

When Todd Wiebe opened Travois Ale Works three years ago, he knew a patio was essential for him to host events like, trivia, yoga, live entertainment and Pints and Pedals, where Kollektiv Cycle sets up 17 bikes on the patio to host spin classes, and Travois prepares a buffet brunch following.

“People want to sit outside and drink beer under the summer sun. Patios create a whole vibe where people can bar hop, and that’s what we’re seeing happen,” says Wiebe. “We have our regulars come on specific nights, and now we’re seeing the younger demographic go from one place to another.”

George Best manages Travois Ale Works and has noticed the positive change in energy in the downtown.

“I’ve worked downtown for nearly 15 years, and it continues to grow and become more approachable where people want to spend their day or evening downtown,” says Best.

As bar and eateries renovate and build their patios, coffee shops have developed an outdoor seating experience for their guests.

Owner of Madhatter Roastery Katrina Borrows made the decision to build a patio with lumber and newly purchased furniture, especially during Covid. She applied for the Medicine Hat Business Innovation Grant through the City of Medicine Hat and Community Futures Entre-Corp.

“The funding was everything. The money was absolutely well spent, because it helped our business thrive, and the patio adds to our guests’ experience,” says Borrows. “When you’re driving downtown, nothing feels cooler than seeing everyone on patios, and our patio is such an important part of that. It’s the little pieces that create the big experience, and patios immediately make a downtown feel alive.”

Other eateries throughout Medicine Hat have kept their patio extensions from the Covid regulations like, Silver Buckle and Dayz Off Pub. Grit City Distillery added a lumber fence to enclose their patio. Cafe Verve, Thai Orchid Room and Ralphs Texas Bar and Steakhouse built new patios in 2021.



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