Only one business has thus far applied to take advantage of new City of Kamloops rules to allow businesses to expand outdoors while struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
That business is The Vic coffee shop, downtown at Victoria Street and Fourth Avenue — and its expanded patio has been completed.
The Vic has taken over the adjacent space to the west formerly occupied by Funny Pages, a collectables store that closed during the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Vic is co-owned by Todd Mason and Denis Walsh. Mason told KTW in an earlier story that the two locations were previously conjoined. The two spaces were connected with an entrance when Zack’s Coffee and Teas also operated an ice cream parlour and candy store where the collectables store is situated.
Mason said a liquor licence application is underway and owners have plans to expand The Vic into what Mason dubbed an “a.m.-p.m. venue.” The plan is to eventually turn it into a coffee shop by day and serve local beer and wine and tapas in a more casual setting at night.
At the end of May, council approved new guidelines for downtown and Tranquille corridor retailers and restaurants to temporarily expand into public sidewalks or parking stalls, while businesses throughout the city can take advantage of private commercial green space or parking lots.
Earls in Sahali appears to have put tables outside on the grass at its Columbia Place location.
After council’s decision, some downtown businesses appeared eager to test the new rules, while others have said they would like to see Victoria Street closed to vehicular traffic in order to further increase capacity.