LETTER: Outdoor patios in Surrey would help with our ‘placemaking’ efforts

Let’s get with it, Surrey businesses – we’re the only municipality where one can’t sit on the patio and have a coffee!

The Editor,

Re: “Placemaking for progress in Surrey,” the Now, Sept. 17.

The article made mention of making Surrey as a destination place.

One year ago, I bought a house about half a block away from Holland Park and a seven-minute walk to Central City Shopping Centre.

I am retired and enjoy taking my two small dogs to the park every day. Another thing I like to do is have a cup of coffee at a café or restaurant with an outdoor area where I can sit and relax with my doggies. When I lived in Newton, Expresso Café on 137th Street and 74th Avenue was the perfect place for this and my dogs got red carpet treatment.

Now that I live in the Central City area, I can’t find a place anywhere to have coffee outdoors. Restaurants like Burger King and McDonald’s have large areas outside – which would be perfect for tables and chairs but I’m guessing homelessness is the reason they’re absent. Even Starbucks can only offer about two chairs and no tables.

Safeway has two sets of tables and chairs set into the concrete outside the store but every time I think of buying a coffee at the Starbucks inside Safeway I check out the patio and it is downright filthy. They definitely need to hose it down at least daily – at present it looks like it has not been cleaned for many months.

There is one Starbucks at the King George SkyTrain station that has a patio which can only be accessed by customers who have made a purchase. I think it would be wonderful if the above-mentioned establishments would follow suit. Burger King was recently closed for renovations and I was hoping they would be innovative and create a pleasant patio with access from inside their premises for customers but no – they still don’t have an outside area.

Let’s get with it, Surrey businesses – we’re the only municipality where one can’t sit on the patio and have a coffee!

Loraine Cassidy, Surrey

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