Instead, Gouvia is focused on making the interior experience as comfortable and safe as possible for guests. He said patrons were slow to return when the restaurant first reopened in July, but he’s seen an uptick in recent weeks as customers’ comfort level increased.
“As time went by, I think people got more comfortable when they saw what we’re doing to create separation with plexiglass shields on the tables, as well as demanding you wear the mask,” Gouvia said.
Kristin Jonna, owner of Vinotecca in Birmingham and Vinology in Ann Arbor, is also not keen on the concept of winterizing patio space. “Once you tent a space and then bring heaters in, you’re basically creating a COVID incubator,” Jonna said. “It’s an issue of public safety. I think it’s a very poor idea because there’s no ventilation in a tent like that. I just can’t do that in good faith.”