By Charlie Loran • 05 October 2020 • 10:55
SPACE bubbles are causing a stir in New York, offering fresh air in safe capsules on pavements for customers on guard against COVID-19.
The plastic tents, which take a minute to set up and take down, have become an attraction at Café du Soleil on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, especially as the weather gets colder and wetter with Autumn setting in.
“With everything going on in this world, eating in a bubble is about one of the best experiences we can have,” said Valerie Worthy, as she dined with two co-workers. “They have everything safe, clean. Everything is six feet apart. Love it.”
New York is committed to making outdoor dining a permanent option for the thousands of restaurants that have embraced the concept since the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the spring, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday, October 2.
To keep outdoor guests warm through the autumn and winter months, the city will allow restaurants to use certain heaters and enclosed tents. Restaurants can also reopen for indoor dining at 25 per cent capacity on Wednesday, October 7.
The bubbles caught the eye of Café du Soleil owner Alain Chevreux in July when he was online, figuring out how to stay in business.
At limited indoor capacity, Chevreux said the 20 seats would not be enough to pay his chef, cooks, and other staff. And who would pay to eat in the cold, rain, or snow without shelter?
Fifteen bubbles saved Chevreux much toil and trouble. At $400 a pop, the capsules hold six people, and customers ask to reserve them over the phone.
“Families love it. Kids love it. Friends who want to get together love it,” Chevreux said. “It was raining a couple of weeks ago, midweek, pouring, raining. Everybody that was inside those bubbles were having a blast.”
Childhood fantasies became reality for some diners with space bubbles causing a stir in New York.
“As soon as I came in, I said, wait a minute, it looks like Cinderella’s carriage,” said Sylvia Gonzalez as she dined with her granddaughter and friend. “It’s beautiful.”
Her friend Blanca Morales felt safe and optimistic inside the “carriage.”
“You’re not being cluttered with other people, crowded, it’s very, like, individual, you know?” she observed. “Like, I’m waiting for my prince to get here.”
It would be great to see the concept spread to us here in Spain if the second wave causes more restrictions.
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Manchester born mummy with a two year old diva (2020), living on the Costa del Sol for just short of a decade.
Former chef and restaurateur, holistic health fanatic and lover of long words.
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