By Belle Hatfield
Yarmouth is another step closer to getting an outdoor café. Last month, town council instructed its CAO to have planning staff develop a bylaw in response to a request from the owner of Sip Café on Collins Street to encroach on the town’s sidewalk next to the building for the purpose of creating an outdoor seating area.
Turns out, there’s already provisions for the leasing of town sidewalks in the street and sidewalk bylaw, which was last amended in 2005.
Provisions in the bylaw give council the authority to enter into a lease for the seasonal or temporary use of a sidewalk. The CAO told council at the March 5 committee of the whole meeting that once there was an agreement with the owner regarding terms, it would be brought to council for its approval.
Mathieu Maltais contacted council early in January with a proposal to develop a seasonal sidewalk seating area along the north side of City Drug Store. Maltais owns the City Drug Store complex, which includes Sip Café and Every Bloomin’ Thing.
“I want to do a fenced in seating area, like you see in Halifax,” he said. “It will need a walkway for people to walk around it.”
The café specializes in teas and specialty coffees.
“There was no high end Starbucks-type cafes in Yarmouth and so I thought, well I’ll make one,” said Maltais.
In the planning document, Yarmouth Downtown Blueprint, which was approved by the previous council, it calls for bump outs along Main Street as one of the actions to be considered in realizing the plan (along with many, many other initiatives).
“I looked at that document and it seems to me that this is exactly what they want,” he said.
He’s had a favourable response from those with which he’s consulted and says he doesn’t anticipate any problems.
“This has to happen for summer,” he said, in commenting on his business plan. It calls for a reorientation of the door and the addition of inside seating as well. He anticipates the inside seating will be available within a month.
“I’m just waiting for them (council). I think everybody is onboard to get this done,” he said.