Once just a novelty, the option of dining outside became a deal-breaker for many who hoped to continue patronizing favorite restaurants during the past year. As health authorities issued guidance promoting outdoor dining, establishments raced to extend patios and create fresh-air environments.
Unlike Zoom meetings, it’s one pandemic-related trend that many hope continues.
And why not? Outdoor table service continues to be the safest way to eat out for those still apprehensive about the virus, and fresh air or a view can enhance any dining experience.
In northern Rhode Island, businesses including Bella Restaurant in Burrillville have long offered patio seating. Twinkling lights and a water fountain add ambiance to top-notch Italian cuisine.
Tavern 6 two 1 in North Smithfield offers plenty of outdoor seating, and serves American fair along with 16 beers on tap.
While fresh-brewed beer is the main course on the menu at Bravo Brewing Company in Pascoag, food trucks frequent the establishment, and outdoor tables add to a fun, casual atmosphere.
For lunch or dinner by the water, Crystal Lake Tavern offers food with a view. The tavern at the golf course is open to the public, with hours Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 to 8 p.m.
Guests to Glocester Country Club will find a similar scene, with a deck overlooking Waterman Lake at the private golf club.
While it’s only a small portion of their seating, Coffee & Cream has several outdoor tables for breakfast and lunch customers at Slatersville Plaza.
Many businesses created or enhanced their outdoor dining options over the past year.
Known for its heaping servings of both traditional pub foods and affordably-priced seafood dishes, Lindy’s Tavern added service in the, “Plastic Palace,” to its offerings during the pandemic, enclosing a pavilion behind the restaurant and adding an outdoor bar.
Johnny’s Victory Diner in Burrillville recently added a new patio, stage and tiki bar outside the restaurant, and obtained a full liquor license, making weekday breakfast and lunch or Friday night dinner just a little bit merrier.
Harmony Lodge in Glocester had a large deck installed in 2020, launching outdoor service in September.
The state’s reopening did come with some sad news for fans of Thai food in Pascoag. Despite recent improvements to the patio, Thai Royal won’t be serving up scorpion bowls with a view of the nearby waterfall this summer. The restaurant will be open for take out only for the next few months, with hours Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
But many other establishments will continue serving entrees with a side of fresh air, for a dining experience that can only contribute to a perfect Rhode Island summer.
Below is a list of local establishments offering outdoor seating. Keep in mind, many restaurants are still adjusting/recovering to life after COVID-19 and restrictions/reservation requirements may vary, so it’s best to call first.
Bella Restaurant, 1992 Victory Highway, Glendale, (401) 568-6996
Bravo Brewing Company, 75 Main St., Pascoag, (401) 710-4242
Cady’s Tavern, 2168 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, (401) 568-4102
Coffee & Cream, 900 Victory Highway, Slatersville, (401) 488-4448
Crystal Lake Tavern, 100 Broncos Highway, Mapleville, (401) 567-4500 ext. 18
Gator’s Pub, 1402 Victory Highway, North Smithfield (401) 769-2220 (note: has seating, but no table service outside)
Glocester Country Club, 121 Wentworth Ave., Chepachet, (401) 949-3330
Harmony Lodge, 102 Putnam Pike, Harmony, (401) 949-1846
Hill’s Tavern, 417 Putnam Pike, Chepachet, (401) 349-5512
Johnny’s Victory Diner, 2731 Victory Highway, (401) 765-2661
Lindy’s Tavern, 98 School St,, Slatersville, (401) 356-1966
The Harmony Corner Store, 365 Snake Hill Road, Glocester, (401) 934-1170
Tavern 6 two 1, 621 Pound Hill Road, North Smithfield, (401) 249-9333
Uncle Ronnie’s Red Tavern, 2692 Victory Highway, Burrillville, (401) 568-6243
Waterfall Cafe & Martini Bar, 35 East Ave., Burrillville, (401) 567-7000
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