Restaurant customers brave the heat to continue eating outside

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CLOVIS, California (KSEE) — The extreme heat is keeping many indoors. But customers can’t eat inside restaurants because of rules meant to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Colton’s Social House is a restaurant next to Sierra View Mall in Clovis. Manager Brittany Collins Dean aims to make outdoor dining as comfortable as eating inside.

“I still came to the restaurant and I sat here by myself and I thought for me as a consumer what would be the kind of space I would want to come to. And so then I just started planning for that,” Dean said.

The parking lot is now the dining area, enclosed by an extended-length bus.

“Because there is car traffic directly behind us we really wanted to block that traffic so guests feel they are in a private outdoor space. Minimize the noise. The bus for us created that backdrop and storage space for all this extra equipment that we have outside.”

In addition to umbrellas and swamp coolers, many tables are on grass and distanced by elaborate boxed landscaping.

Customer Jonathan Bietty says, “This one’s a little above and beyond. You’ve got the misters, the fans.”

Customer Karley Snyder says, “It’s pleasant, it’s cool. The setup is phenomenal.”

Back at Colton’s Social House, Dean says, “I never thought we would be as busy as we have been. We actually just last week had our highest sales week that we’ve ever had since we opened 4 years ago.”

Colton’s Social House offered work to their furloughed employees in setting up this outdoor space.  They’re also hiring. Job information is on their website, https://www.coltonssocialhouse.com/cshteam.

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