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Restaurants invest in new ways to keep patio season alive in the cooler weather

Tappo Restaurant is installing ten outdoor greenhouses to give customers a safe and warm outdoor dining experience in a Covid world.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With the cooler months on the way, restaurants around Western New York are finding new ways to bring in business in Covid world, once patio season is over. 

Tappo is in the process of building building ten greenhouses outside their downtown restaurant on Ellicott Street, to entice people to still go out to eat but may not feel comfortable dining indoors. The structures are weather proof, retain warmth, and fit up to 8 people from the same party. 

Co-Owner and Chef Phil Limina there will eventually be ten greenhouses, which will give the restaurant a way to serve more customers safely, while still following the fifty percent capacity rule under the current state guidelines.  

"We've got a 6,000 square foot dining room here," he told 2 On Your Side. "We used to be able to accommodate about 190 people, and with the distance put into play it's only looking at about 75. I've got to keep all my people working. Everybody here has gone a phenomenal job, so we really wanted to get creative and find a way to satisfy people safely and also take care of our own." 

Limina says the restaurant plans to invest in a steam cleaning system to use in the greenhouses between parties. The greenhouses will be in addition to, not in place of, Tappo's other popular cold weather outdoor dining experience, the rooftop igloos.