SOUTHINGTON — Despite snow and cold, Back Nine Tavern’s patio overlooking the golf course is getting use this winter with igloos the restaurant has set up.
The clear plastic tents have a table that can seat up to eight and heaters for warmth. Back Nine Tavern managers said they’ve been a hit with customers since they were installed in December.
“I probably get 10 calls a day,” said manager Pete McAloon. “It’s a cool concept for people.”
The two igloos sit on putting green mats on the restaurant’s back patio next to snow-covered tables. On Thursday, the sun heated them to a comfortable temperature, but on chilly nights two heaters keep away the cold.
McAloon said he got the idea from a New York bar and also saw igloo dining in New Haven. The response has been so good that he’d like to put up more next winter.
The tents can handle snow or rain, he said, in addition to holding in the heat.
“We’ve got a great patio. We’ve got to find a way to use it in the winter,” McAloon said.
Patrick Williams, general manager at Elm City Social in New Haven, said the bar set its igloos up on the rooftop patio in October.
They can comfortably seat 10.
“People are crazy about them,” he said. “We probably get 30-plus emails a day.”
Diners love to eat in the igloos when it’s snowing, Williams said. He’s hoping for more snowy days this winter. Elm City Social plans to keep them until the end of cold weather and set them up again next winter.
Mike Calvanese, Back Nine Tavern manager, said there’s a six-person party minimum for weekend igloo reservations. During the week, when things are slower, the restaurant is more relaxed about that requirement.
Reservations run until 10 p.m., after which the igloos are open to anyone for drinks.
The tavern’s full menu and bar offerings are available for igloo diners.
Back Nine Tavern also has a location at Stanley Golf Course in New Britain, but that restaurant doesn’t have igloos.