‘It’s steady as long as the rain stays away’
Weather-wary business folk hoping for warmer weather as summer rolls along
It’s far from the dog days of summer but local fast-food eateries seem to be giving the season to date a passing grade.
“It’s steady as long as the rain stays away,” said Pat Smith, coowner of J.A. Smitty’s Canteen in Open Hearth Park.
She said the slow start to the season, including persistent rainy, cool weather throughout June, kept people inside.
On Saturday, it was mostly sunny with a high of 22 C. It wasn’t hot but it was enough to attract a large crowd to the playground and splash pad in the park.
There was a lineup mid-afternoon at Smith’s canteen. The four staff members were scurrying around the kitchen preparing food and beverages for customers.
“It’s a seasonal business and it goes with the good weather. It’s busy any day the sun is out,” she said.
The eatery opened May 15, but the bulk of the revenue will come during July and August.
Traffic slows down after children head back to school in September. The canteen, which has a contract with the park, remains open until Oct. 15.
“You have your bad days and your good days, but it’s worth it for the people down here. They need something down here.”
At the Bayside Drive-in, located in River Ryan, owner Liz Musial said business has been “OK, but not great.”
She said it’s about on par with traffic seen by this time in 2014.
Last year, the drive-in opened about a month later than normal because it received damage from an early spring snowstorm.
Musial said the weather has also been a driving factor for her business.
“We find it a little slower because of the weather,” she said.
The canteen receives its regulars and teenagers on warm evenings, and it should be seeing tourists driving through at this point in the season as well, she said.
On the Sydney waterfront, the Chill Zone ice cream vendor saw extra boardwalk traffic due to the large crowd at the nearby Sydney Ribfest on the marine terminal property.
Employee Brittany Bonnar had a steady line of customers through the afternoon.
The Chill Zone relocated to the Sydney boardwalk in June after the Cape Breton Regional Municipality sold Archibald Wharf in North Sydney where the ice cream shop had been located.
It was a consistently long lineup at the J.A. Smitty’s Canteen in Open Hearth Park on Saturday. It was a slow start to the season with cool and rainy summer days, but owner Pat Smith says business is picking up as the weather warms up.
Brittany Bonnar, an employee of the Chill Zone on the Sydney boardwalk, passes a cone to a customer Saturday. The nearby Sydney Ribfest attracted a greater number of people along the boardwalk over the weekend.