A French restaurant in Manhattan’s Upper West Side has set up 15 plastic ‘Space Bubbles’ to protect customers from the spread of Covid-19, and shelter diners from cold and rain.
Cafe Du Soleil owner, Alain Chevreux, who bought the outlet 15 years ago, found the bubbles on the internet in July, when he was trying to figure out how to stay in business when the weather shifts to cold, together with the changing seasons.
Each bubble costs $400, but Mr Chevreux says they are well worth the investment.
“These bubbles can sit up to six people,” he said.
“Families love it. Kids love it. Friends who want to get together love it. As a matter of fact, it was raining couple of weeks ago, midweek, pouring, raining. Everybody that was inside those bubbles were having a blast.”
Just like all other restaurants in the city, Cafe Du Soleil took a hit from the coronavirus lockdown. Outdoor dining became its saving grace.
Restaurants will be able able to reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Wednesday, but Mr Chevreux says it is not enough for his restaurant to survive.
Last Friday, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio made outdoor dining permanent and “year-round”, in the city.
Mr Chevreux said he is not sure how long into the winter he can use the bubbles.
“When the weather gets very cold, you can have as many bubbles as you have, but I’m not sure it’s gonna do the trick,” he said.