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Outside dining during the cold months: It's happening in Broad Ripple

Pods welcomed by families with children
Posted at 12:06 AM, Dec 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 07:50:36-05

INDIANAPOLIS — In winter of 2020, sitting in your very own greenhouse might be the coolest, and warmest way to dine out.

"They allow seating for two to four people or one to four people in there. We say three comfortable, four cozy," said Katie Pittman of Public Greens in Broad Ripple.

These greenhouses on the patio of Public Greens in Broad Ripple are a product of creativity in a pandemic. It's a concept Pittman and her team came up with as a solution to recommendations from government and health officials that restaurant customers eat outside, even through winter. An idea that at first was laughable.

"Very difficult, we kind of laughed a little, but and then you kind of just have to throw that idea out that you're not going to eat outside in Indiana in the winter," said Pittman.

Like other businesses, Public Greens was inspired to innovate by everything 2020 has thrown their way. Now the outdoor dining experience comes with heaters, blankets, and on warmer days a vent for fresh air, all creating a cozy setting for people from the same household, while keeping them separate from other customers.

Pittman says the concept has already received a warm welcome from families with children. "We actually just had a woman that said, 'I just had a newborn child, were celebrating out anniversary and we didn't know if we would be able to go out to eat and celebrate," Pittman said, recounting a conversation with a customer.

In a time when creativity is key to a fun and safe environment, Pittman is hoping the creation at Public Greens is enough to encourage customers to dine out this winter. "If you still want to dine at home, we're happy to accommodate and make you feel safe in whatever dining experience you want. Whether that's dining in the dining room that's socially distant, sitting by the fire, the greenhouses or carryout," said Pittman.

LIST: Heated and covered patios for outdoor dining in the Indianapolis-area