Patio of popular Halifax café and bar damaged in hit-and-run – Halifax | Canadian

A café and bar popular among university students in Halifax is working to get its patio up and running again after a hit-and-run Sunday night left the outside dining space heavily damaged.

A picture posted to social media by the Coburg Social Bar and Café shows a concrete barrier torn in half and tables and chairs askew.

Kelly Irvine, owner and operator of the Coburg Social, said the incident happened around 9 p.m., when the business was closed.

“A car was going up Coburg Road from Robie Street — it must have been going at quite a fast pace — and turned the corner right onto Henry Street,” where the patio is, she said.

“And instead of making the corner … it went across the street and right into the patio.”

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This is the third year the patio, which extends into Henry Street where cars would otherwise be parked, is open.

Irvine said while Coburg Road can be busy, Henry Street is relatively quiet. This is the first incident of this kind that she’s aware of in her 11 years of operating the business.

“I’m grateful nobody was hurt, and I’m thankful that it was at night, so it wasn’t too busy,” she said.

She isn’t sure how much the damage is in dollar amounts, but said it would be covered by insurance.

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Since posting the photo online, Irvine said some people have been asking why the patio was on the street — but she noted that the patio is both fully legal, and also necessary to keep the business afloat.

“We have a permit. It helped us keep our business open during COVID, and it still is,” she said. “It is an important part of our business.”

Irvine added that after struggling through more than two years of COVID-19, this incident is just “one more thing in a long line of things that a business owner has to deal with.”

“These days, anything that happens here kind of, to some degree, just rolls off my back,” she said. “Nothing is surprising anymore to me.”

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In an email, Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Const. John MacLeod said officers responded to a single-vehicle crash near the intersection of Coburg Road and Henry Street around 9 p.m. Sunday.

“The vehicle struck a barrier at that location. The occupant(s) of the vehicle had left the area prior to police arriving,” he said. “The investigation in ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call police.”

Meanwhile, the patio space at the Coburg Social remains closed — for now.

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“We’ll get it fixed up and hopefully ready by the end of month, when all the students get back,” said Irvine.

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