Restaurants around Seattle are beginning to reopen during “phase 1.5,” which allows for 25 percent capacity indoors and 50 percent outdoors, in addition to other COVID-19-related safety guidelines from Washington state. Now, Eastlake Bar & Grill is attempting to take things a step further by introducing enclosed tents on its patio.
The plastic greenhouse-like structures, which debuted last week, are open at both ends and come outfitted with some lights. They arrive a few weeks after the grill — along with sibling restaurants Greenlake Grill and Lake Forest Bar & Grill— opened for curbside takeout. According to the restaurant, the staff is still asking guests to take proper safety precautions when walking through common areas, waiting for their table, and using the bathrooms.
In Washington, all tables and chairs both indoors and outdoors must be separated by six feet of distance. Guests aren’t required by law to wear a mask, but Gov. Jay Insee has said restaurants can refuse service to diners who don’t wear face coverings. Even though Seattle did not reopen dining rooms as early as some other cities, COVID-19 is still a continuing threat. To date, there have been 8,722 confirmed cases in King County alone and 591 deaths.
As restaurants around the country and the world reopen, some have implemented unusual efforts to create more separation between diners, like the Eastlake Bar & Grill enclosures. In Columbia City, Hawaiian-Korean restaurant Super Six also set up an outdoor tent separate from its regular patio for seating. And Eastlake Bar & Grill’s director of operations Brendon Cook said the tents were inspired by something they saw happening in Norway via social media.
“We are considering ordering a larger, taller tent for larger parties,” says Cook. “This would be a year round option for our guests.”