Colorado restaurants fight for survival, jump on new ways to keep people warm this winter

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AURORA, Co. (KDVR) — For Caroline Glover the inspiration hit her in March, after reading about a restaurant in Amsterdam that purchased greenhouses to sit customers outside the building.

“We searched all types of greenhouses online and found a company that could get them to us quick enough,” said Glover.

She and her husband purchased 12 greenhouses online for about $350 each. 

“Every spare minute when we are not running the restaurant has been spent on these greenhouses,” said Glover.

The Glovers’ restaurant, Anette, is located in Stanley Marketplace in Aurora. Last week the greenhouses officially made their debut and saw major success. The couple received several calls from other restaurant owners throughout Colorado who were inspired by the idea and the long list of eager patrons hoping to get a seat this past weekend.

“We are almost eight months into the pandemic and the fact that we are still here, says a lot,” said Glover. “If we can get through this we can get through anything.”

Each greenhouse has a table that can sit between two and six people, a heater, windows that can open for airflow and a button that turns on a blue light to alert the server when diners need assistance. Glover plans to order large winter coats for servers this winter and has kept the greenhouses far enough apart for easy snow shoveling. 

Phil Armstrong is also gearing up for a busy winter after purchasing several yurts for Aurum, with locations in Breckenridge in Steamboat Springs.

“So far the demand is extremely high for these yurts. We haven’t even erected them and we have several nights that are already completely booked,” he said.

On Monday, the Colorado Restaurant Association hosted an Outdoor Winter Design Workshop that brought together design professionals, contractors, public health officials, representatives from local fire departments, building officials, and restaurateurs to create feasible ideas for outdoor dining concepts through Colorado’s cold-weather months. 

“We are confident that the concepts that come out of this workshop, as well as the funds committed to help restaurants winterize, will inspire use of outdoor space throughout the cold months,” said Laura Shunk with the CRA. 

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