As Massachusetts residents seek socially distant ways to dine and hang out this winter amid the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants and other venues have answered the call by offering private igloos and fire pits.
For example, diners at Patriot Place in Foxborough can eat in heated outdoor igloos at five different restaurants, guests at Alcove in Boston can relax around fire pits with a view of the Zakim Bridge, and Trustees of Reservations visitors are having fire pit experiences at historic properties across the state.
“When we ordered them in September, there was a four- to six-week wait for shipping, and since so many places around the country — and the world, too — were trying to get them, the price had almost doubled since the previous year,” Nicholas Walther, founder and brewer at Turtle Swamp Brewing, told Boston.com. “But we decided to go for it anyway.”
Walther said the brewery received funding from the Greg Hill Foundation, which distributes grants to restaurants that have been affected by COVID-19, and that without the foundation’s grant, “we probably would not have even tried these this year.”
Since installing the igloos, Walther said more people have frequented the brewery for a beer, and that customers are fans of the new experience. It also helped increase the number of seats they’re able to offer.
“We have a few indoor tables, appropriately spaced out of course, but generally people are still leery about sitting indoors,” he said. “We still have outdoor tables, but as we get into the nasty part of winter, not too many people want to brave that either. The tents allow for groups to be isolated from other groups and stay out of the elements at the same time.”
While many venues, including Turtle Swamp, limit igloo seating to six guests of the same party, some may allow more. It’s a good idea to research a restaurant’s igloo policy before booking, as some require rental fees and time limits. And, as always, sticking to members of your own bubble is best.
Ahead, discover Massachusetts venues hosting igloos or fire pits this season. Did we miss any? Please let us know in the survey below.
75 on Liberty Wharf, Boston
Article 24, Brighton
CBS Sporting Club, Foxborough
Charlie’s Kitchen, Cambridge
Lewis’ Restaurant and Grill, Norwood
Liz’s Cafe, Anybody’s Bar, Provincetown
Lock 50, Worcester
Lookout Rooftop and Bar, Boston
Mile Marker One, Gloucester
Petit Robert Bistro, Boston
Six String Grill & Stage, Foxborough
Six West, Boston
Tavern in the Square, Burlington
The Bowery Bar, Boston
The Tipsy Toboggan, Fall River
Turtle Swamp Brewing, Boston
Woods Hill Pier 4, Boston
Wamesit Lanes, Tewksbury
Wormtown Brewery, Foxborough
Appleton Farms, Ipswich
Bow Market, Somerville
City Tap House, Boston
Castle Hill on the Crane Estate, Ispwich
Chestnut Hill Farm, Southborough
Fruitlands Museum, Harvard
Mare Oyster Bar, Boston
Powisset Farm, Dover
Wamesit Lanes, Tewksbury
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