NEW BUFFALO — A glorious Columbus Day Weekend offered plenty of chances to enjoy outdoor dining.

Many area restaurants including Red Arrow Roadhouse and the new Emma Hearth and Market in Bridgman have expanded or added outdoor seating areas in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Others such as Oaks Eatery in Three Oaks, Haymarket in Bridgman and Villa Nova Pizza in New Buffalo already featured popular outdoor dining zones.

A recent Facebook post by Haymarket states: "We’re so excited to have our patios open … We also have some indoor seating available."

Red Arrow Roadhouse recently posted the following on its Facebook page: "Only a couple weeks left of patio season. Get to the #ROHO when the sun in shining to soak up the remaining al fresco dining evenings 2020 has to offer."

The Website for the Greenbush Tap Room in Sawyer states: "We have not only one, but two patios. Some tables even have umbrellas."

The FAQ portion of the Greenbush website also addresses "What’s going on across the street?" where outdoor seating used to be located as follows: "We’re wondering the same thing.  Like we say, we gave up the lease.  We’ve heard everything from weed shop to roller derby to splash pad.  Right now, there’s just a bunch of trees and no trespassing signs so we’d stay out of there if we was you."

The website for Brewster's in New Buffalo says the following on its Patio Dining: "Summer in New Buffalo isn’t complete without enjoying a meal in the loveliest garden in Harbor Country! Open Memorial Day through mid-October, the garden is the perfect place to dine for breakfast, lunch or dinner!"

People were lined up for the outdoor dining area at Dooley's Lake House Pub in New Buffalo during a busy lunch-time rush on Saturday, Oct. 10,

"Outdoor dining has exceeded our expectations. People have been so excited to sit outside," said Colleen Dooley.

She noted that eight outside heaters have were obtained in time for Labor Day Weekend to keep outdoor dining going as temperatures fall.

"The warmers have made a big difference in the evening. People can't believe how much heat they emit," she said.

Dooley said a tent is planned to keep some of that heat in, and construction of an outside bar is nearing completion as well "so we be out as long as possible" and "watch the snowflakes come down."

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