Valley restaurants take dining outdoors to accommodate more customers


Restaurants are building patios or putting up temporary tents

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Outdoor dining has been more popular than ever this summer. So much so, that restaurants are building patios or putting up temporary tents.

What was Johnny’s restaurant in Boardman is now “Beef and Keg”. They have the same ownership but in the last few weeks, they’ve gotten a new name, a new menu, and a brand new patio.

“With the way everything is going, and the trend we’ve seen locally, we figured if we put the patio in its going to help out sales,” said manager Dan Dilling.

Johnny’s was busy pre-COVID but took a hit when it opened back up and business was slow. The patio opened mid-August and already it is giving them a boost.

“We think with the patio, it’ll double it. Every time I drive by somewhere with a patio, it’s full. We’re hoping that with this it will increase our sales even more. If we fill this place three nights a week, it’s enough revenue to keep it going,” Dilling said.

Customers say it’s nice being outside, but COVID isn’t keeping them from eating indoors.

“We’re here at least once a week, and I think the restaurants we’ve gone to have done a really good job of making us feel safe,” said customer Mara Amedia.

Another spot seeing major business since reopening and redoing their patio is Aqua Pazzo. They took the leap and built the patio during the shutdown. Their concern then was could they get it done and will there be another shutdown? Now, their biggest concern is getting all their customers in.

“What you are seeing is more of a captive audience. You can’t vacation, you can’t ravel very far. There are very few forms of activity you can enjoy, so when we opened the patio, it was an instant success,” said Aqua Pazzo President Johnny Coury.

With a coy pond in the middle and large prints of Sophia Loren on the walls, the patio gives customers that vacation feel, even if they don’t leave the Valley.

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