Two Columbiana restaurants expanding outdoor dining experience

Coronavirus

Birdfish Brewing and Homestead Kitchen have been able to increase their restaurant capacity with outdoor dining

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – When Ohio’s governor closed restaurants, he allowed carry-out to continue. But, many people just wanted that dine-in experience. Now that they’ve reopened, many of the eateries around the Valley have found a way to provide it safely and continue to develop it.

The taps at Birdfish Brewing in Columbiana are always pouring something tasty, and now it’s expanding to another option.

“The outdoor seating is going to be huge,” said owner Greg Snyder.

Birdfish just set up two tents this week, and the heaters are coming. The space will double its capacity from the 40 guests allowed inside with social distancing requirements.

“This is one of the hurdles we had to get over and adapt to with the seating restrictions,” Snyder said.

Birdfish is also getting ready to open more indoor seating off its tasting room, adding space for 50 more people. It’s lucky to have some space that other places now wish they had available.

“We went above and beyond. We spent the capital to put different things in place for our consumers to have safe as they walk into Birdfish Brewing Company,” Snyder said.

Homestead Kitchen, also in Columbiana, changed its layout in June when Governor Mike DeWine allowed restaurants to reopen.

“All of the tables that couldn’t fit inside, we moved outside into our courtyard area,” said general manager Shelah Mrosko.

It allowed Homestead to double its reduced capacity inside. Homestead had the space at Firestone Farms to make a bold move.

“For current restaurants, it’s a hard thing to do if you don’t have the space to expand on,” Mrosko said.

Homestead’s farm-to-table concept was already popular with diners, giving them the option to go outdoors. It had the phone ringing off the hook before they reopened despite coronavirus concerns.

“The guests absolutely love it, being in an open-air setting. Guests seem to feel more safe by sitting outside,” Mrosko said.

Homestead may not be done. It’s looking into expanding its outdoor seating and make it even more comfortable out on the patio.

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