Amanda Vance, executive director of the DDBIA, stands in front of Station Street Common at the opening of the food court last summer. (File photo)

Amanda Vance, executive director of the DDBIA, stands in front of Station Street Common at the opening of the food court last summer. (File photo)

Open food court may return to downtown Duncan next summer

DDBIA in discussions with City of Duncan

The Downtown Duncan BIA is looking to recreate a project like the food court concept that it successfully provided in Station Street Common this summer next year, but in a different format.

In a report to the City of Duncan, the DDBIA said it is working with city staff on a proposal that would see concrete picnic tables and other changes to improve upon the original project that would begin in the spring of 2021.

“One of the challenges the DDBIA met while running the Common was finding the limits of our capacity,” the report said.

“Merchants and members of the public asked us to run the Common every day including Sunday. We would have loved to provide daily service to the community, but the project with its existing hours in its existing framework, had already maxed out our capacity. Many merchants and patrons have asked if we would run the Common again next year.”

RELATED STORY: DOWNTOWN DUNCAN OPEN-AIR FOOD COURT OPENS

The open-air food court was established in downtown Duncan during the summer months to assist local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly to address restrictions on customer numbers in restaurants brought on by the health crisis.

The DDBIA opened the Station Street Common on July 7 in Station Park, with help from funding from the City of Duncan and the Island Coastal Economic Trust, and it was in operation until Sept. 7.

More than 25 eateries in the downtown core took advantage of the outdoor eating venue, which featured an innovative online ordering option.

The Common brought people downtown and played a role in enlivening the core after the COVID-19 crisis shut down non-essential services in the area.

It also provided seasonal employment to four people.

But whether the food court, in some form, will be back next year in Station Street Common is still up in the air as the City of Duncan has yet to decide the future of the site.

The city undertook a public “placemaking” project for the park earlier this year with Mark Lakeman and his Portland-based design firm Communitecture to determine the future of the site, which is where the old Red Balloon store used to stand.

RELATED STORY: SUGGESTED DESIGNS REVEALED FOR DUNCAN’S STATION STREET PARK, WHISTLER STREET

Communitecture’s design for the site recommends a variety of seating spaces and gathering areas that would be arranged around a spacious round lawn.

Covered tables to the south and east would provide space for meals and conversations in most seasons, and food trucks parked on Station Street and public washrooms in the alley to the north would provide additional amenities.

Duncan’s council decided in October to apply to the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program for up to $1 million to cover the cost of the plan for the site.

RELATED STORY: CITY OF DUNCAN CONSIDERS APPLYING FOR GRANT FOR STATION STREET PROJECT



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Island Health is expected to begin public consultations soon on its controversial plans to open a new wellness and recovery centre at 5878 York Road. (File photo)
Public consultations on Duncan wellness and recovery centre coming in February

Controversial facility on York Road scheduled to open in June

Jerry Dyck plans to purchase a new RV to drive across Canada in, once it’s safe to travel again. (Courtesy BCLC)
Victoria man plans post-pandemic cross-Canada RV trip after $2M lottery win

Retired electrician bought the winning ticket in Duncan

Providence Health Care has teamed up with partners, including Island Health, to launch the first remote cochlear implant (CI) mapping program for adults in British Columbia. Duncan’s Alan Holt was one of the first to test it out. (Submitted)
Remote cochlear clinic offers shorter commute for patients like Duncan’s Alan Holt

Duncan man one of the first to test virtual mapping program

Larry Fiege, right, from Fiege’s Farm shows a rapt audience the old-fashioned way to tap a Bigleaf Maple during the Maple Syrup Festival at the BC Forest Discovery Centre Feb. 1 and 2, 2020. (Andrea Rondeau/Citizen)
Maple Syrup Festival in Duncan cancelled

The annual syrup festival is a popular event at the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Local musician and artist Daisy Melville created a watercolour portrait of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders from the recent American inauguration, and with help from her mom, is now selling t-shirts and more with funds going to the Comox Valley Food Bank. Image submitted
Island artist turns Sanders inauguration meme into art for good

All proceeds from the sale of shirts, sweaters and more will go to the Comox Valley Food Bank

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Most Read