Patio pals

J.B. Evans Fashion and Footwear managing partner Andrew Moro, left, and The Sal restaurant owner and operator Aaron Gillingham collaborated on a patio for the Westfort restaurant to draw people to the neighbourhood.

Two Westfort businesses have teamed up, hoping to bring more patrons to the south-side neighbourhood.

J.B. Evans Fashion Footwear managing partner Andrew Moro and The Sal restaurant owner and operator Aaron Gillingham were chatting outside their Frederica Street businesses recently and came up with the idea to build a patio for the restaurant in front of the retail store.

“(Andrew) was talking about doing something with the space because there was previously garden boxes and he was talking about what he wanted to do with the space; and I was talking about how I wanted to do a patio eventually and it was almost like the conversation just went in that direction right away,” said Gillingham. “It made sense to use the space for both of us.”

Moro said the space in front of his store had planters that needed to be replaced.

“They were old and the flowers were dying,” he said. “I had a choice where I either had to give them a facelift and plant new plants or remove them. Aaron needed a patio so it was a win-win.”

The pair have collaborated on promotions in the past but this was their first physical project and they spent the weekend clearing the space and building the patio.

“It’s a facelift and it also draws people to the business neighbourhood and hopefully the businesses get spinoff,” said Moro. “It’s just good for the neighbourhood.”

Tuesday was the first day the patio was open to patrons and Moro said every table was full during Wednesday’s lunch rush.

If it proves fruitful this year, the pair hope to keep the patio going next summer.

“If it’s successful for Aaron and it’s driving people to Westfort, I think it’s a good partnership,” said Moro.

(This story was originally published on June 27, 2020)

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