Kevin Karlsson is helping turn the sod on a new courtyard at Little Vienna Bakery.

Beautifying Sooke

Local bakery building an outdoor European-inspired courtyard

A local bakery is getting an outdoor makeover to beautify the streets and provide a portal to Vienna.

Construction is underway at Little Vienna Bakery, located on 6726 West Coast Rd, to replace its wooden, elevated deck with a 600 sq. foot classic European-inspired stone-paved courtyard.

The stones will be multi-coloured and level to the ground, allowing guests to sit in a sanctuary surrounded by raised garden beds. A retaining wall will line the perimeter and a three-tiered fountain will rest in the centre.

Wood salvaged from the deck will also be used to create an arbor entryway for the new outdoor feature.

The entire vision is to bring the European ambience indoors, outside, according to co-owner Micheal Nyikes.

He also said the deck was partly removed to allow senior patrons with mobility issues easier access to outdoor seating.

“It’s going to be completely accessible, it’s going to be level,” Michael said.

“We’re doing it with the intention of just creating a nice space for our customers that’s accessible, and of course, Little Vienna Bakery fronts onto West Coast Road. (The courtyard) helps to enhance the visual appeal on the streets.”

He hopes the improvements will encourage other business owners to parlay the essence of their businesses into beautification projects that will help make Sooke easier on the eye.

“There’s been really good precedence set by other business owners,” Michael said. “It would be nice to see others following suit.”

The $25,000 project has been in the making for the past two years, since Michael and wife, Susan Nyikes, obtained the restaurant from it’s original owners.

“When we’ve travelled and we’ve been to special cafes all over the world, our greatest pleasure has come from typically sitting in a courtyard outside,” she said.

“We just think we’re going to be able to duplicate what you’re able to experience in different parts of the world. We’re just really excited to have that here.”

And, as local business owners themselves, the Nyikes have sourced all labour, design work and materials locally. The only item coming from outside of Sooke is the fountain.

“We’re very, very strong advocates of not only local shopping, but of supporting local business,” Nyikes said. “It makes sense to us, we know that everyone benefits from it.”

The new outdoor seating area is expected to be completed in about a we