Restaurant created outdoor ice huts to allow for outdoor dining during COVID-19


TRYON, NC (WSPA) – As the pandemic continues into the winter months, local restaurants are finding new and innovative ways to keep customers safe while dining out.

Huckleberry’s Tryon, a restaurant in downtown Tryon, has created an interesting COVID-safe experience.

In lieu of the traditional outdoor dining experience that most people saw during the spring and summer months, staff at Huckleberry’s decided take outdoor dining into the winter. Owners placed small glass house-like structures at the front of their restaurant to give customers a warm and safe place to eat.

“They’re a lot easier to keep clean, sanitized and wiped down. They provide a lot more social distancing” Huckleberry’s restaurant owner Michaila Cowles, said.

According to Cowles, they’re referred to as “Ice Huts”. The concept of warm outdoor dining began last year when the restaurant created “Igloos”, but this year due to COVID-19 they’ve decided to switch things up.

Each ice hut comes with a heater, a window for ventilation, wifi, a button to call a waiter and even bluetooth speakers. Each group of guests is given two hours to dine inside of the huts and are sent away with a special COVID-19 basket full of comfort items. Cowles said she wanted to give customers the escape many expressed they craved when they came into town.

“The ice huts have brought more people in and I think it has to do with people thinking this town is like the mountains and they’re escaping from the city and COVID-19,” Cowles said.

The restaurant plans to keep the huts up until late February or early March. 

For more information on the Ice Huts at Huckleberry’s, click here.

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