The chairs are ready for customers. The railings gleam in the sun. The liquor licence is approved. It looks like the perfect summer patio.

But much to the chagrin of Sam Sinnthurai, owner of Scarborough’s McGradies Tap and Grill, and his many customers, the restaurant’s brand new patio sits empty.

Sinnthurai can’t let his patrons onto the patio until he gets fire and safety approvals from the city. But with civic workers on strike, he’s not expecting that to happen anytime soon.

“I feel very bad. I’m a hardworking man and we’re losing business,” said Sinnthurai, noting he spent $7,000 to get the patio ready for summer. “People keep asking me if they can go out and eat and I have to tell them no.”

Sinnthurai isn’t the only business person to have been hard hit by the city strike. Across the city business owners and residents who rely on city inspections, building permits, contracts — even marriage licences — are having to put things on hold, resulting in lost time and money.