ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - During the summer months, restaurants all around Charlottesville and Albemarle County relied on outdoor seating to be able to accommodate more customers. Once it starts getting colder, restaurants are going to have to adapt.
“We’re in the process of getting some patio heaters, for the cooler nights, but I honestly, I don’t know what we’re gonna do,” owner of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Pete Shah said.
Shah says he hasn’t put too much thought into the cold weather yet, but he has ruled out some options.
“It’s not like I can spend a ton of money and do full enclosures because then that makes it that makes the ordinance the same meaning," he said. "It’s the same whether we’re indoors or outdoors.”
Both Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville have ordinances capping indoor capacity at restaurants at 50 percent but Shah says the county has found other ways to help it’s restaurants.
“The county is actually helping small businesses, right now, with initiatives that they’ve that they’ve just rolled out,” he said. “You can apply for a financial funds basically for restaurants that have done things to promote outdoor seating and to kind of push that customer outdoors a little bit.”
Shah hopes he may be able to be reimbursed for some of the changes he’s made to his patio during the pandemic.
“We did revamp our patio a little bit recently, we put up a covering did some new tables and where we got a little TV on a cart that we can roll out on like Saturdays and Sundays for college and NFL.”
Shah says that even though its still early into the fall season he’s already seeing a dip in sales due to the weather.