Saint-Lazare to support local restaurants by creating a take-out park – Montreal
Dining rooms at restaurants in red zones have been closed since early October, with no end date on restrictions in sight, a municipality off the island has found a way to support local restaurants.
Saint-Lazare is set to transform a drab piece of land near Bédard Park into a temporary food park where residents can enjoy local cuisine outdoors.
“While shopping at one of our local stores called Les Cheffettes, the owner asked me if we could create something for her customers. They have nowhere to eat because she cannot sit them down because of COVID, ”said Saint-Lazare city councilor Geneviève Lachance.
The councilor presented the idea to the city’s economic development committee. The committee, whose goal is to help local businesses, loved the idea.
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“With the pandemic, it’s really, really important that the city does even small things to help (local businesses), because it’s really hard for all of them,” Lachance said.
The group unanimously agreed that the park is a great way to help many restaurants in the nearby mall. André Chryss is one of the owners of the Bravo Pizzeria restaurant, located in the shopping center for 15 years. He said that during the pandemic, every day is a struggle to survive, so he was delighted to hear about the new development.
“It would be a very positive thing to do for the people and for the merchants all around,” said Chryss.
Within a few weeks, the landscaping should be completed and picnic benches will be added to allow residents to sit.
“We don’t want to create crowds, but we just want to do enough so that we can move the tables away for people to come and sit,” said Lachance.
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The residents of Saint-Lazare who frequent the area welcome the family idea.
“We actually took advantage of the park opposite, and when there weren’t any benches available we would sit on the grass, but if there were picnic benches here I could see lunch here someday, ”said Natalie Smith.
The next phase of the project is to have local artists decorate the space, with completion scheduled for June.
“There is a competition for local artists that they can submit until Monday noon,” Lachance said. “Their ideas for artwork and we can have an exhibition where people can come and see their work and we’ll be jazzy after that.
Lachance hopes the park will encourage people to support the local economy and provide them with somewhere other than parking to enjoy their take-out.
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