Yellowknife

Awaiting sun, Black Knight prepares its first patio


Penny, the Cabin Radio puppy, inspects the Black Knight's patio area. Sara Wicks/Cabin Radio

Cabin Radio’s Penny inspects the Black Knight patio. Sara Wicks/Cabin Radio

If the sun ever returns, Yellowknife’s local restaurants are ready. Patio season is approaching and a popular downtown pub is gearing up.

The Black Knight will operate a patio for the first time this summer.

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The pub is taking advantage of relatively recent changes by the City of Yellowknife aimed at encouraging the establishment of patios outside downtown cafés and bars.

The municipality created the initiative in 2017. That summer, Birchwood Coffee Kǫ̀ was one of the first to open a patio.

“Our place is pretty small, so just having the extra seating in general makes a huge difference,” said owner Jawah Bercier. Birchwood’s patio has returned for the summer of 2019.

The Black Knight’s Terry Hartwright told Cabin Radio he saw no reason not to build a patio this year.

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“It’s part of a City program where they offer a grant for anyone in the downtown area to put out a patio,” Hartwright said. “It’s a $10,000 rebate that you get back from them. We figured, why not?”

Since the patio is in the front of the building, Hartwright said people will no longer be allowed to smoke in that area. (They will be directed toward the parking lot beside the building.)

“The patio is just an extension of this bar right here. The same rules apply,” said Hartwright.

The weather forecast suggests Thursday this week will bring the first patio-worthy sunshine since the pub finished installing its outdoor area.

Birchwood’s patio survived the soggy summer of 2018. Bercier says patrons persisted despite the downpours.

“Last summer was a little bit of a non-summer, but it still was really great,” she said.

“So many people want to eat outside – especially in the dead of summer in Yellowknife.”

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