Thanks to a quick turnaround on the necessary licensing and permits, patios are popping up all over Cochrane.

It's been just one week since the Town of Cochrane announced an expedited approval process for outdoor patios, giving local restaurants an option to still serve customers in person.

For local restaurants that didn't previously have a patio in place, this has created an opportunity to set up a temporary patio in private parking areas or on public property like sidewalks, and parks. 

John Scondrianis is the owner of Ducks on the Roof Sports Bar and Grill here in Cochrane, and he says that he was able to convert his parking lot into a patio, and have it up and running in no time flat.

"Not even three days! [It was] two and a half days," says Scondrianis. "Town Council has been awesome! Everybody - the fire department. Everybody was awesome to speed it up and put it through."

Scondrianis says that the yo-yo effects of having to shut down and reopen his restaurant again have made it tough to stay afloat. He's hopeful that having the option to serve customers on their makeshift patio will allow the Sports Bar to generate more business, in an extremely trying year.

"The fire department gave me 103 people for capacity," explains Scondrianis. "Due to COVID, we have to do six feet distancing so there's about 55 people I can put on."

He's keeping his fingers crossed that the cold and snowy weather is in our rearview, so Ducks on the Roof can house customers regularly.

"Seven days a week if the weather permits," says Scondrianis. "The hours are 10:30 in the morning until 10 at night. We still have to have COVID-19 hours, so hopefully, we can pay all the bills and make a little bit of money."

In addition to the many restaurants in town that have permanent patios, Cochranites now have more options available for outdoor dining, including The Venue Bar and Grill and Half Hitch Brewing Company who also got their parking lot patios up and running this week.