Restaurants prepare outdoor patios for winter months

Restaurants prepare outdoor patios for winter months

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - For many, dining out seems to be their safest bet during the health pandemic but it’s not ideal to be chowing down outside when those temperature drops.

EAT Restaurant Partners owns some of the most popular spots in Richmond, such as Pizza and Beer of Richmond (PBR) or Boulevard Burger and Brew. Their Director of Operations and Training, Brooke Clarke, outlined some of the weatherization coming to the eateries.

“You have to be fluid, you have to be adaptable in this climate," she said.

PBR, for example, already has their outdoor tent up to protect patrons from the elements. The tent has one full exposed side for ventilation.

PBR's outdoor patio with three-sided tent covering to help ventilate airflow.
PBR's outdoor patio with three-sided tent covering to help ventilate airflow. (Source: wwbt/nbc12)

Some other plans the group had in the works include creating more patio space at Boulevard, and at Wild Ginger in Midlothian. The new patios would take over part of the parking lot, while also being enclosed and heated.

“With limited seating, half of our seating is outdoors, so we want to be able to maximize that opportunity and provide as many opportunities for the guests to dine in with us,” Clarke said.

Viruses thrive in indoor spaces, so Dr. Danny Avula with the Richmond-Henrico Health District says PBR’s choice of a three-sided tent is one way of mitigating any potential spread.

“We could consider that more of an open-air, outside setting where the rules are different. People can keep their masks off longer, and we wouldn’t be looking as rigorously as we would with an indoor space," the doctor said.

Clark adds with the other establishments in the group that don’t have much outdoor space, they will actually open their upper level to be rented out for private events to keep the cash flowing. Of course, take out is always an option for leery customers.

“It’s a different climate where money is not flowing as much as it used to... but we’re just hoping that we can continue to move forward, and not roll back," Clarke added.

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