Some Chicago restaurants in Fulton Market found a new way to keep diners coming in colder weather: igloos.
Starting Friday, Chicago's Fulton Market will be scattered with plastic pods to protect diners from cold weather while encouraging social distancing amid the pandemic.
Restaurant owners set up the igloos from Green Street to Peoria in front of dining establishments such as Beatrix, The Publican, Kuma's Corner, Duck Duck Goat and Gus's Fried Chicken.
“We’re not keeping secrets. We’re sharing everything that works, every little tip. We are all in this together,” Donnie Madia, Chicago restaurant owner, said.
West Loop residents have reacted with mixed feelings on the new bubbles, with some saying they're worried there will not be enough air flow.
“I think it’s a great idea..people need to think outside the box this year. But personally, living with a germaphobe I am a little hesitant about being close with people without circulation," Lily Pike, a resident of Chicago's West Loop neighborhood, said.
Another West Loop resident, Michelle McComes, said her initial thought was that it is "awesome" to be outside even in the winter months.
“It’s all about our team members safety, our guests’ safety. Social distancing, covered faces, keep open places," President of the Illinois Restaurant Association Sam Toia said.
The Illinois Restaurant Association and the West Central Association organized the new socially distanced dining igloos.