Bar and restaurant venues that survived the initial lockdown have been fortunate to enjoy an unusually rain-free summer and the ability to expand onto streets, sidewalks and adjoining properties to seat patrons while maintaining social distancing. But just as the economy is returning to normal Toronto has been slammed by a second wave of Covid-19 cases and a fast-approaching winter season. For businesses to stay open they’ll have to continue relying on outdoor spaces to seat enough people.
Enter GRIPBlock. These innovative wooden bricks are light and durable, meaning they can be delivered and assembled quickly and at low cost. Unlike most temporary structures, walls made with GRIPBlock block the wind and retain warmth, helping bars and restaurants stay open – and in business – longer, and well into the winter season. And while the walls are structurally sound, with shear strength that makes them impossible to knock over, at the end of the season they’ll be easy to disassemble and take down.
At the heart of the GRIPBlock is a mechanical attachment technology called GRIPMetal, hundreds of harder steel teeth that allow the blocks to be stacked and connected, forming an extremely rigid and strong structure. GRIPMetal has been used for over twenty years in the automotive industry to enhance the strength and bonding of automotive parts, and more recently the blocks have been employed by Toronto schools to build classrooms in gyms and cafeterias, providing desperately needed space just in time for the return of the school year.
Now, working with restaurant chains such as Gabby’s, GRIPMetal is hoping their blocks are just what the doctor ordered for an ailing hospitality industry.
If you’d like to see the new blocks in action, visit the Gabby’s at Parkway Mall in Scarborough this Friday where GRIPMetal will be building their social distancing walls on the Gabby’s patio.