SOUTHINGTON — At Hop Haus, the beer garden is meant to be a laid back destination, a place where you can enjoy the summer weather and have a drink and some good food.
“A nice spot where you could have a couple drinks — order a beer or cocktail or non-alcoholic and just kind of relax,” said Hop Haus manager Katie Kennedy.
The gastropub at 28 W. Main St., Plantsville, has had a beer garden patio in the back for about three years. It was extended last month when they got word that some pandemic regulations would be lifted to allow outdoor dining.
The extension is a level lower than the main patio. About four tables fit on both levels, which are decorated with flowers.
To accommodate COVID-19 safety regulations, Hop Haus has hand sanitizer on every table and a QR code for guests to view a paperless menu on their phones.
A few friends from Cheshire were at the restaurant on Thursday, taking a lunch and drink break from walking on the nearby linear trail. They said the QR code menus were awesome and were impressed with the safety procedures.
“I like how it’s spaced out,” Lisa Kelsey said. “You kind of forget about the worries.”
Crystal Bees manager Chris Hurlock said to make up for lost table space on the existing patio, they pushed into the parking lot.
Capacity changes depending on the band that is playing. The restaurant/bar/entertainment center is located at 240 Spring St.
“We are very COVID conscious here and keep everything in line,” he said, mentioning that tables are spaced at least six feet apart and parties are limited to five people.
Hurlock said being right next to the linear trail, and the addition of flowers and fire pits, makes the outdoor space feel welcoming. Crystal Bees normally has live music indoors, but it has moved outdoors due to coronavirus regulations.
Starting in July, guests will have to pay a $5 cover to sit outside for a show, and $20 to reserve a table. Otherwise, tables are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Napoli Pizza in Wallingford has outdoor seating, partially covered with string lights and surrounded by landscaping.
Zingarella Pizza in Southington has tables set up right in front of the building, and picnic tables lining the side next to the attached ice cream shop.
At Westbrook Lobster in Wallingford, the regular deck is open to patrons, overlooking woods and a river.