Restaurants Showing Creativity with Outdoor Seating as Temperatures Drop

by Marissa Harris ’22

Montgomery County is currently in phase two, which means the capacity of indoor food establishments can not exceed 50 percent of each restaurant’s maximum capacity. However, many families, like my own, are not comfortable with eating inside yet, and want to continue to eat outside, get take-out, or do or curbside pickup. 

The county held a forum discussing regulations for outdoor tents. Only portable electric heaters are allowed to be placed within the tent. Propane heaters may be used outside the tent, but they must be at least five feet away. At least one side of the tent must be entirely open. Overall, masks must be worn when people are not eating or drinking, tables must be six feet apart, and there can only be a limited number of people at each table. 

Grill Marx, which serves American food, in Olney has already set up its seating for the colder weather and has a huge white tent with heaters inside. This will ensure that people are not freezing while enjoying a nice dinner. Grill Marx is a nicer restaurant to celebrate at, and it is a great option for those who have birthdays. 

The Manor at Silo Falls in Brookeville is is surrounded by a giant field where there is sometimes live music. With daily temperatures decreasing, Silo Falls has already been set up for outdoor seating. They have tables set out, all spaced apart, across the huge outdoor area. Some are under outdoor tents, some are in the grass, and some are located across the enormous patio. There are also heater towers and some fire pits. Instead of hand-held menus, one can scan the QR code on their phone to pull up the menu. In addition, Silo Falls has one line for customers to wait for beverages, while another line is for both beverages and food. Servers will text you when your food is ready, and everything comes in disposable containers. 

Ted’s Bulletin in Downtown Crown has every food one can think of. From french toast to burgers, there is something for everyone. The front of the restaurant currently has socially distanced tables, and Ted’s expects its heaters to arrive soon, which is going to make eating outside more comfortable when it gets cooler. 

I have personally eaten the food from all three of these restaurants during this pandemic, and it is all delicious and safe. Don’t let colder weather stop you from eating outside while staying safe.