Searching for the perfect Edmonton patio? There's an app for that

Searching for the perfect Edmonton patio? There's an app for that

For George Shantz, the perfect sunny patio is the Holy Grail of summer.

The Edmonton man has been on an odyssey, chronicling every last one of Edmonton's 200 patios as he creates a new roadmap for the seasonal hot spots.

His app, Patio Buzz, will launch just in time for the peak of patio season.

The app will allow patio-seekers to view a full list of the city's patios and help them find the nearest one based on their location. The app will allow users to provide their own ratings, comments and pictures.

Shantz wanted to chronicle every one for patio lovers who, like him, are always on the hunt for hidden gems.

"I didn't realize how important patios are to people. Everybody I've told about this idea is excited," he said in an interview with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"No one has said it's a bad idea yet. It's a must-have."

The mobile app, and his website of reviews by the same name, are the result of a months-long mission for the Edmonton man.

Shantz and his wife have been attempting to visit every last one of the city's patios to get the app ready in time for spring.

It's been a tough slog. Since last year, Shantz has been sunning himself and sampling craft beer during every spare moment of his day.

"It's pretty much every day after work and the weekends. We started last August but we've been really pushing in the last six months," he said.

"For me, there's no point in sitting inside if I can sit outside. You get a little breeze, get some flowers out there. That's the spot to be."

For Shantz, there is nothing better than a cold beer on a sunny patio, but there are some important factors he considers when compiling his personal reviews — ambience, service and overall quality of the food and drink.

Sunshine is also important for the self-proclaimed expert.  

"If you have a patio that's east-facing that would be a great spot for a breakfast or a lunch, but the west-facing patios, that's better for nighttime, watching the sunset, that sort of thing."

Patio Buzz is set to launch for iPhone and Android July 1.