Restaurant uses 'igloos' for unique dining experience
By ZAHRA AHMAD
Feb. 04, 2018
FENTON, Mich. (AP) — The owners of Fenton Fire Hall have re-purposed garden "igloos" to serve customers looking to dine outside this winter.
"They're like mini greenhouses," said general manager Mike Yahner. "I don't think their original purpose was to serve food and drinks in them. Our owners got the idea while traveling and seeing similar setups."
The garden igloos, consisting of a clear plastic material stretched over a metal frame, were initially launched at Honchos in nearby Clarkston, another restaurant owned by the same group. The concept caught Yahner off guard but after seeing it become an "instant success," he figured it was worth the shot at the Fenton Fire Hall.
"I asked the owner if we could get them out here and he shipped two out," Yahner told The Flint Journal . "The response to them so far has been overwhelmingly positive. We want to add one more to our patio."
The dome-shaped garden igloos are warmed by the greenhouse effect. The structure keeps cold air out while the sun and a single space heater keep the inside warm. Yahner said the idea attracts a "certain kind of fun person."
"We're very clear with guests that it's not a perfect concept," Yahner said. "Inside the igloo is about 20 to 25 degrees warmer than whatever the temperature is outside. On warm days, like the weather we experienced this weekend, you can be in there in just a shirt. But on colder days, we advise wearing coats if you choose to dine in them."
Inside the igloos are chairs, a dining table, candles, a single space heater and faux fur pillows.
The restaurant will continue to place the igloos out on the patio in the years to come. Yahner said he doesn't plan on taking them down until late spring when it's warm enough for customers to sit out on the patio.
Information from: WFBE-FM, http://www.b95.fm