Dining out looked different for many people this past year. The pandemic had a huge impact on restaurants especially. However, cities like Stratford were able to adapt in unique ways to still deliver the optimal dining experience. One of the ways for businesses in Stratford to overcome these challenges was the introduction of Stratford Al Fresco in 2020. The goal of Stratford Al Fresco is to share passion for good food, offer expanded dining experiences, and safe outdoor dining areas, at various spots in the city (more about Stratford Al Fresco can be found here).

Stratford picnic areas
You can find Al Fresco dining at several areas listed on their website, including Tom Patterson Island. In fact, last year, Porous Pave had the opportunity to be a part of transforming Tom Patterson Island into patio areas for the Al Fresco project. According to this article, the outdoor picnic tables, courtesy of C.R. Plastic Products, were spaced at a minimum of three meters apart to follow guidelines in physical distancing. Porous Pave was the perfect surface for these picnic tables as the surface is an eco-friendly, highly flexible but durable, and a permeable solution compared to other hard surfaces. In addition, Porous Pave is a local Stratford company, and our crew was able to easily access the island even over the pedestrian-only footbridge.

Tom Patterson Island Picnic area

After further discussion, 8 feet diameter pads of black Porous Pave were chosen to be implemented around the island. The areas were first excavated, and then our crew installed 2” of crushed compacted stone for optimal permeability. To finish it off, 2” of black Porous Pave went right on top. As of 2021, another latest addition to Tom Patterson Island was a music pad also using black Porous Pave.

Stratford music area Tom Patterson Island Stratford

Now, guests can dine out safely while listening to great tunes played by musicians over on the music pad. Guests can also choose to dine out in the day or be accompanied by the luminating lights display by Lights on Stratford for night dining. Altogether, Tom Patterson Island is now the perfect outdoor dining area with 15 highly permeable picnic pads and a music pad.