Stormwatch: That one restaurant patio is still open - The Beaverton

Stormwatch: That one restaurant patio is still open

TORONTO — Following the recent first major snowfall of the year, Torontonians are bundling up in preparation for the long, cold winter ahead. However, Big Louie’s Bar and Grill has attracted attention for keeping its open, a move universally applauded for showing the city that the weather could always be worse.

“We don’t close the patio until you can’t see the patio,” explained restaurant manager Jay Tilburg, shovelling snow away from the bar’s entrance. “We have a few regulars who love nothing more than eating burgers in a frozen hellscape, and their needs far outstrip the comfort and safety of our staff. It’s our restaurant motto: ‘Even a polar vortex won’t stop our smiles!’”

Greg Bowen, a patron of Big Louie’s since it opened 15 years ago, proudly identified himself as one of those people who were desperate to cling to patio season, no matter what the cost.

“I don’t know what the big deal is,” the 54-year-old construction worker huffed, keeping his gloved hands firmly clenched around his Steamwhistle to keep it from freezing over. “We’re Canadians, goddamn it. This ain’t nothing! Call me when it hits minus 40, maybe then I’ll think about moving inside then. Until that point, everyone can quit complaining and do their jobs.”

People across Toronto are regarding the open patio as a symbol of hope, despite foreboding warnings that this winter will be colder than average.

“When I woke up this morning, I spent an hour scraping the ice off my car and accidentally mistook the snowman my kids had built in the yard for my wife,” admitted Brian Holtzer, who stopped in to the restaurant for a quick drink after work. “But when I saw the servers slipping and sliding around that patio with their drink trays akimbo, it made me realize that things couldn’t possibly be as bad as they seem. Maybe I’ll fire up the ol’ tonight!”

At press time, three female servers had died of exposure after having been forced to serve patrons outside in the restaurant-mandated uniform of a short skirt and heels.