Blog Articles

Curb Appeal Fall 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One of the characteristics that makes Downtown Barrie so unique is the creative and innovative programming and events that occur over the course of a year. A relatively new addition to the event line-up for Downtown Barrie is the increasingly popular Curb Appeal dining series. Curb Appeal is a semi-annual outdoor dining experience that features five amazing local chefs serving upwards of 125 guests at an often whimsical outdoor location that requires a bit of ‘curb appeal’ within the Downtown core. Curb Appeal’s focus is to first and foremost have a great time with friends and family in a dining setting unusual to the norm; and second, to start a long lasting ‘path of curb appeal’ of actual Downtown enhancement anchored by a great experience.

This past September was the second Curb Appeal event and it took place on the town dock at the bottom of Bayfield Street on a brisk late summers evening. The lakefront is one of Downtown Barrie’s drawing attractions, and so in keeping with the theme of the evening, the Downtown Barrie BIA decided to reach out to one of the stewards of the lake itself. In so doing, a donation was made on behalf of the Downtown Barrie BIA to the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation (LSCF) to help preserve the creek systems in and around the downtown that feed into Kempenfelt Bay.

The day began early with volunteers working diligently on the venue to set the mood for the evening. In order to ensure the food prep and plating would go off without a hitch and in time for the guests’ arrival at 7:00pm, a pop-up kitchen was set up on the dock. Scott from the Local Gastropub was ferrying plates and glassware from one end of the dock to the other on his skateboard, while members of Sunday Crush were busily stringing lights that would soon glisten above the guests heads. The wind proved to be a nuisance throughout the afternoon, but nothing was going to prevent this much-anticipated outdoor dining experience from happening.

As the evening began, there was live music ringing in the air as guests started to arrive, some even making a grand entrance by boat. With everybody ‘sitt’n on the dock of the bay’ taking in Barrie’s beautiful waterfront, the night commenced with the first of five creatively prepared and presented dishes. Each course was conceived and executed by one of Downtown Barrie’s most well-known chefs from The Farmhouse, Groovy Tuesday’s, Painters Hall, The North and the Local Gastropub. Curb Appeal sponsors from Steam Whistle, Muskoka Brewery and Trius Wine kept the guests glasses full throughout the event.

One of the most unique aspects of Curb Appeal is the genuine sense of community that is evident during the event preparation and roll out. Guests are entertained by the banter and friendly competition between the Chefs, while the respect that each chef has for the other is obvious. This is one of the hallmarks of the Curb Appeal dining series events – it makes us all proud to be part of such an amazing Downtown community.