COVINGTON, Ky. — Restaurants across the Commonwealth are finding different solutions to outdoor dining.
Many are struggling to survive not only during the chilly months of fall and winter but also with new executive orders closing indoor dining.
“The idea is to bring the great indoors, outdoors and give a sense of comfort and experience that you wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Demian Wilson, a general manager for Smoke Justis.
They’ve transformed portable storage units called PODS into a single party seating.
“I think a lot of people are still trying to sort out what it is. One of the things you’ve mentioned is, 'Are you moving?' We are not moving. We actually have decals coming to dress them up. The idea is to create a holiday theme,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the extra steps and costs they’ve added are to help sustain their business during the pandemic and it’s a direct response in anticipation of another shutdown.
“I think we’ve actually managed to acquire, whatever the word is, all the pods in Northern Kentucky at this point, with some doing and a lot of phone calls to actually get them in place and get 'em moved as quickly,” Wilson said.
The efforts are to help re-create an experience meant for the outdoors.
“The inside is very much catered to an experience. And so how can we bring that experience inside to outside,” Wilson said.
The general manager said they’ve set up ten pods outside along with a tent space to serve their customers.