Restaurants prepare for winter and loss of outdoor seating

Bangor area restaurants adapting to COVID-19 challenges
Bangor area restaurants adapting to COVID-19 challenges
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 8:40 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Restaurants that have adapted to COVID-19 restrictions now face another challenge.

Colder weather is coming, and with it, the end of comfortable outdoor seating.

”We’ve had a couple rainy days that have kind of limited our seating here, and it kind of gives us a little glimpse into the future.”

Mason’s General Manager Jake Bridges tells me they’re lucky to have finished an expansion of the restaurant overlooking the Penobscot River last winter.

“Kind of gave us a little extra room to spread out, make sure we’re following all the guidelines. We’ve done pretty well, considering.”

They plan to install some new heaters and work to make their outside seating area last as long as possible.

“Hopefully until October or November. Maybe further if we can. But we’ll see. We’ll see how this winter shapes up.”

Bert Follero had a similar problem during a cold spell at Sea Dog Brewing Company in Bangor.

“I think we had an eye opener. We were only able to seat 50 people.”

They’re used to seating up to 218.

“We’re taking some steps to add a wall in our dining room.”

That will let them seat 100 people inside, but they say they have a secret plan to allow for more customers.

“We have something up our sleeves, something that’s never been done in this area.” says Follero. “I do feel really bad for some of the smaller restaurants. That’s gonna be tough.”

Hero’s Sports Grill downtown doesn’t have room for outdoor seating. Owner Quinn Paradis is banking on the same plan that’s helped them through the summer months.

“Take-out has done very well, and I think that’s the wave of the future for restaurants coming up on the winter.”

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