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Outdoor diners find 'common ground' in sweltering downtown alley

Eclectic Café hosts dinner in downtown alley, a fundraiser for local homeless shelter

Dozens dined in the sweltering heat Saturday evening with the goal of filling the local homeless shelter’s freezer.

Eclectic Café hosted its first Common Ground dinner in the Carousel Commons alley downtown.

Chef and owner Melanie Robinson, hoping to make the event as much about community as possible, created a five-course menu that included ingredients from area farmers and producers. Local artists and artisans were also in attendance, selling their goods, while the Darrin Davis Band provided the music.

As a result, about $500 will be donated to the Lighthouse Soup Kitchen and Shelter to help with its Meat the Needs campaign.

“It was amazing, considering the heat and the space,” Robinson said.

Robinson devised the menu only a couple of weeks before the dinner, so she was grateful everybody who bought a ticket “was very trusting” in her culinary abilities.

She thanked the diners, as well as the farmers, producers, artists and musicians who helped make the event possible.

The second Common Ground dinner is being planned for the fall.

Nathan Taylor

About the Author: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is an experienced multimedia journalist and editor who covers Orillia and other parts of Simcoe County.
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