Amanda Vance, executive director of the Downtown Duncan BIA, stands in front of the new open-air food court that will be set up in Station Park for eight weeks. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Downtown Duncan open-air food court opens

Facility will operate throughout the summer in reaction to COVID-19

The Downtown Duncan BIA has received an $8,200 grant from the Island Coastal Economic Trust to assist with its open-air summer food court that has been set up in Station Park to address restrictions on customer numbers in restaurants and retail shops.

The funding came from ICET’s Small Capital Restart Funding Stream that encourages innovative approaches to support COVID-19 related business restarts and increased sustainability.

The DDBIA has transformed the park at 85 Station St. into an arrangement for outdoor dining from more than 25 eateries in the downtown core, plus shopping and gathering that opened on July 7.

The area will be carefully managed by hosts to ensure health and safety and will feature an innovative online ordering option.

This approach is intended to create new vitality in the downtown core, while supporting the transition to hybrid digital and in-person service in the downtown’s food sector businesses.

The new facilities will also support the 39 Days of July music festival and serve as an experiment for future permanent transformation of the downtown space.

The DDBIA received a $10,000 grant from the City of Duncan last month towards the creation and development of the food court.

“People are really excited about the food court,” said Amanda Vance, executive director of the DDBIA.

“When we were setting up the food court (on July 6), many people thought it was meant for a private event and we’re happy to find that it’s intended for the public.”

The food court will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m, for eight weeks.

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