Louisville-area Restaurants Find Creative Ways to Provide Dining During Cool Weather

Restaurants continue to adapt as winter approaches and temperatures drop.

Many places are strategizing how to prolong outdoor dining while others are working to make indoor dining safer.

The Blackstone Grille in Prospect can only fit 25 people on its small patio. While patio business has played a crucial part in the restaurant’s recent success, cold weather is coming.

That’s why owner and operator, Rick Dissell invested in an air cleaning system to make customers feel more comfortable dining inside.

The bi-polar ionization (BPI) indoor air quality device was installed about a month ago into his restaurant’s heating & air conditioning (HVAC) system.

“We feel that’s a good thing and I feel it’s the future,” said Dissell. “You’re gonna have to have it.”

These devices made by AtmosAir Solutions, an indoor air quality company, have proven 99% effective in neutralizing coronavirus in the air and on surfaces. (Tests performed by Microchem Laboratory, one of the world’s preeminent laboratories for testing EPA and FDA registered sanitizing products, confirmed that the presence of coronavirus was reduced by 99.92% within 30 minutes of exposure to AtmosAir’s BPI HVAC devices).

The device was installed by a local firm, Critical Environmental Solutions (CES) in Louisville.

Dissell said since you can’t see the device, you barely know that’s it’s there.

“If there’s really no-one in here and the thing is cranked all the way up you might be able to get that clean mountain air smell, just a little bit,” said Dissell.

Red Hog Butcher on Frankfort Avenue has also made some new additions to comfort guests on cool evenings.

“We expanded our patio seating, we added a nice gazebo shelter, heaters, but constantly pivoted with the menu and what we were serving for takeout,” said executive chef Noam Bilitzer. “Gradually bringing back that warm food from the wood fired grill that our guests love to eat.”

Bilitzer said they have more fire pits, heaters and wind blockers on the way.

“I don’t know what we would’ve done for wintertime without it,” said Bilitzer. “It would’ve been very cold and uncomfortable to sit out here even in 50 or 60 degree weather, normal fall weather. It can be quite chilly to eat out here. I think this really will survive and grow our business through it.”

Red Hog’s patio seats 30 people comfortably, still allowing them to distance, according to Bilitzer.