Happy Valley Brewing Company in State College created a heated outdoor dining space called the Polar Lounge. I took a trip over there earlier this afternoon.
Restaurants in Centre County have struggled to survive since indoor dining was banned by Governor Wolf a few weeks back to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Happy Valley Brewing Company, however, is not struggling as much. They adapted and found a creative way to keep customers dining in.
They dubbed this heated outdoor seating area the Polar Lounge.
Because the lounge has only two walls rather than three, it is considered outdoors, and they have permission to operate the lounge from the department of health. Three walls would not be allowed under current circumstances.
General manager Joe Bissol offered this advice to other restaurants struggling to find ways to deal with the restrictions
“Listen to your guests. You know your business best, you know your market best. All of our decision making occurs based on what our guests would feel most comfortable with. We felt that it would be most beneficial to do everything the correct way, and make sure everything is cleaned, sanitized, and done properly.”
The Polar Lounge is open Tuesday through Saturday 12-2 for lunchtime, and from 5-7 Tuesday through Thursday for dinner. Friday and Saturday, they stay open until 8.