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May 15, 2023

Unseasonably warm temperatures welcomed by diners, restaurants; ‘This little blip on the radar has been nice for us,’ says pub manager

It’s April 15, and the high for today is 25 degrees Celsius.

What does one do in that unusual situation?

Enjoy a patio drink or meal on Dunlop Street, of course, as this weekend kicks off this year’s patio season.

Colin Johnson, manager at Donaleigh’s Irish Public House, is more than happy about it.

“People love the street-side patio where they can eat, be seen, and people watch. With the outdoor seating, we can expand our footprint by about 120 seats with our two patios,” he told BarrieToday.

“This little blip on the radar has been nice for us as we don’t normally see 25- to 28-degree temperatures in the middle of April, so any little bit helps. Next week is going to be a little on the cooler side, so we’re going to enjoy it while we can.”

Jane Kemp, sitting with a friend in front of McReilly’s Pub, loves the outdoor atmosphere, saying her favourite parts are “the sun, the warmth and the waterfront, and having beer and fries.”

Her company, Brian Parish, of Lindsay, enjoys visiting Barrie.

“You have an unbelievable waterfront, along with great shopping on Dunlop Street,” he said. “We sat on this side (of Dunlop Street) because of the sun, and in July (when it’s too hot), we’ll be on the other side.”

Great strategy.

Bailey, a server at McReilly’s Pub, loves making new friends with “all the dogs that come by. With the patio, people can bring their dogs with them.”

Jamie Humphreys sat at a table by the sidewalk at The Queens Hotel and has only one main goal in mind these days, saying with a smile, “I’m retired at 65, so I plan on being here through the summer, and doing nothing.”

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