Covert Ottawa Weekly Newsletter: Patio Season in Barrhaven Edition

Here we go with another week of impressive weather, just in time for patio season! The big story last week was that Ontario lifted many regulations to bring us a bit closer to our new “normal”. In case you were living under a rock and didn’t hear, the stage 2 reopening highlights are that we can now have social interactions with groups of up to ten people, we can now get a haircut, and restaurants and bars can open their patios! All very exciting things, and of course there is more, but that’s what’s important to me ? I for one am looking forward to getting this mop taken off the top of my head; my appointment is Friday.

Little Rays Reptiles

Little Ray’s moved a while back from their tiny Bank Street location out to Sarsville, and it seems as though the renos and move are finished now. They’ve started offering family tours of the new facility. I love Little Ray’s but have only ever seen their mobile show, but I think a tour of their full facility would be pretty cool.


Father’s Day Idea

Yep, this coming Sunday is Father’s Day! It’s a little tougher this year to find the perfect gift or outing for the guy who has everything, but thanks to Hintonburg Public House, you now have an interesting and affordable option! They’ve got all the gift details in a Facebook Event. Make sure to order soon!


This Week’s Happy Moment

I found this tweet from Gurdeep Pandher of Yukon. I just love it so much and makes me smile through the full one-minute clip. This dude’s got moves! I’m not a dance expert, but I believe it is Bhangra?



Patio Season in Barrhaven

As mentioned, stage 2 of the re-opening began in Ontario last Friday. That included patios throughout the city. I thought that with all the talk of reopening, and all of the questions about how busy patios would be, I’d do a little drive around and have a look at what there is to offer in Barrhaven (I had to choose one area or I’d be at it all week!) Then I thought I’d rank them. I identified eight different patios to choose from in the community at bar/restaurant establishments. The rankings are based exclusively on the patios and do not reflect any other aspects of the business. The top three patios are pretty much interchangeable as they are all excellent, but I had to decide. So here, in my humble opinion, are the rankings for the Haven:

8.) Heart and Crown Barrhaven

It’s quite simple for this one, as there doesn’t appear to be a patio here. There is an enclosed area that seems to be permanent, but from what I could tell, it’s not open. There is a message pop-up on their website confirming that they’re not yet open. I’m only listing it here as people may question why the Heart and Crown wasn’t on this list.

7.) Broadway Bar and Grill

This patio wasn’t set up when I did my drive around. It was the only patio that wasn’t physically built and was difficult to properly rank. However, I saw it again later (didn’t have my camera) and it was only slightly more impressive, but at least there was a fence line, seats and lights.



PRO: Plenty of parking, and the patio faces the sun…probably all day. Plenty of seating.

CON: BORING!! There is nothing interesting about this patio. It’s right at street-front of a busy plaza parking lot, which includes a grocery store at one end and Best Buy and Bed Bath and Beyond at the other. The traffic makes it a bit distracting, with little to look at. The furniture, fencing and lights appear to be cheap. There is a sidewalk gap between the front door of the restaurant and the patio. I don’t know for sure, but I assume that gap is not licenced, so chances are pretty reasonable that you can’t move from the patio into the restaurant with a drink.

6.) The Jolly Taxpayer

This patio appears to be a permanent structure, and is a reasonable size. They have added on a makeshift extension/second patio in the parking lot using ropes. It adds to capacity, but it’s nothing exciting.



PRO: Probably lots of availability in either of the two patios. The main patio is pretty closed-in and it’s quite intimate without the noise and distraction of a parking lot. It’s very patriotic with large Canadian Flags on the walls.



CON: The temporary patio is boring and open to the parking lot. Both patios likely have sun in the early afternoon but do not face the right direction for late afternoon sun. There’s nothing exciting about these patios, but are better than not having a patio at all. There is potential to grow and decorate the main patio, so hopefully that will happen.

5.) Kelsey’s

Kelsey’s has a decent patio with options for seating. It’s not overly large and is situated on a busy road (not parking lot) in a mess of retail stores. It looks modern and new with nice furniture and a good layout.



PRO: it’s a trendy place with quality new furniture and décor. It appears to be a comfortable place to hang out with friends. Location is both a pro and a con. The pro is that it’s a good place to stop and relax if you’re shopping for multiple hours. It’s a convenient place to grab a drink and some early afternoon sun.



CON: The location is unfortunate as it’s on a very busy road. Although you can make fun of drivers making an a$$ of themselves at a seemingly difficult 4-way stop right out front. That could be considered free entertainment but otherwise, it’s a very busy place for road traffic.

4.) Royal Oak

Although located on one of the busiest streets in Barrhaven, the raised patio and glass dividers reduce the road noise. They have quality furniture and a comfortable layout.



PRO: New and modern furniture and décor. The layout is conducive to socializing and allows for many seating choices on a large patio. The sun would be available all day and evening, but they also offer plenty of umbrellas should you want shade. It’s a great layout.



CON: Despite attempts to reduce road noise, it is still present on this very busy road. The patio, although nice, lacks the wow-factor of the top 3.

3.) Boston Pizza

Their regular patio is very nice with extra features such as water misters for hot days and heaters for cool nights. They have constructed a second patio in two days with quality equipment rentals including tents, fencing (from my friends at ARX Fencing), flooring, and tables/chairs. They’ve clearly anticipated a busy patio crowd. Although only a temporary patio, it has been put together very well.



PRO: The original/main patio is amazing, and very comfortable. The extras that were added make using the patio in almost all weather enjoyable. The furniture is nice, but standard, and the layout is decent. Sun is available all day on the main patio.



CON: The patios are situated on a busy road (Greenbank), and although the main patio has glass walls to reduce noise, the temporary one does not. The temporary patio has thick, large tents overhead so you won’t get sun. So if the main patio is full, there is not an option with sun.

2.) The Barley Mow

This patio is beautiful. They’ve just recently invested in making it a nicer place, and have created a comfortable atmosphere with new furniture and lots of flowers/plants.



PRO: Sun, sun, sun! You will have sun all day and evening on this patio. There are several umbrellas available if you prefer shade though. The patio is raised to reduce noise from Greenbank road. The décor is beautiful and the layout is excellent. It’s very comfortable, with only a short walk to the bathrooms or bar.



CON: There is still some street noise, and some parts of the patio are directly off of the parking lot with only a metal railing separating the two, as well as the smoking section.

1.) Greenfields Gastro Public House

This is by far the most unique patio in Barrhaven with a tremendous investment in the décor and little extras. It truly is beautiful, and makes you feel like you’re traveling somewhere exotic.



PRO: It’s very comfortable and relaxing on this patio. It’s not directly on a main street or busy parking lot, so the comfort level is impressive. The TV is a nice touch, and the outside bar is fantastic. There are sun and shade options on this patio, you just have to get the right seat.



CON: The patio is a little small. If you can get space on it, you’ll love it, but it can be difficult. There will not be evening sun as the trees will shade the majority of the patio. The size is the only downfall as seat selection for optimal atmosphere may not be abundant.

Ottawa’s Talented Kids Update

I’m sad to say that I haven’t yet received any submissions for this section! Thanks to Jim Watson and Dylan Black, my message has been sent out to a wider audience this past weekend, so I’m still hopeful that there will be some interest. Also, Dahlia Kurtz from 580 CFRA has also expressed interest in featuring some of these kids on the radio! How amazing would that be for your talented kids? If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, have a look at last week’s newsletter where I featured Cooper Dunn’s chalk art.

Have a great week everyone, and thanks for reading! Please subscribe at the bottom to have this delivered to your email each Monday morning, and you can start your week off with a light read. Cheers!

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