Restaurant Gets Creative With Outdoor Dining Solution
Greenhouse dining makes social distancing easy and fun.
Sitting in an enclosed space less than 6 feet away from people you don’t know, all eating, laughing, talking and breathing without masks won’t be possible for a while.
That is why the North Park Lounge in McCandless found ways to update its outdoor seating.
The restaurant has eight little greenhouses that can comfortably seat four people each. It’s safer than traditional dining because the customer is not mask-less in an enclosed space with people other than those in their immediate group.
“Our outdoor seating really kept us in the game,” owner Mark Baranowski says. “If there was anything good from this pandemic, it was the weather this summer. Our sales were still off but not as bad as they would’ve been if we didn’t have the outside seating.”
Each greenhouse has an electric space heater but Baranowski says that on sunny days you don’t really need it because the greenhouse stays warm all by itself.
“I’m anxious to see when it gets down in the 20s or 30s how warm we can keep them,” he says.
The greenhouses are sanitized after each use with what he describes as a “big squirt gun.” After spraying the inside down, they wait 5 to 10 minutes before seating the next customers.
In addition to being safer, it creates a nice ambiance to sit outside in a little glass house with fairy lights over you.
Greenhouse seating is first-come-first-serve. Baranowski says he is planning on adding more and may even keep them around after the pandemic.
North Park Lounge also has outdoor tents and picnic tables and added an indoor air filter for the restaurant as well.