Fresno restaurants offering patio services, but few takers in summer heat

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- While eateries are already limited because of COVID-19 restrictions, hot weather in the Valley is keeping many diners from opting for outdoor seating.

"With our limited capacity inside and people not wanting to eat on the outside it kind of limits our total sales," said Brett Cardoza, manager of Westwood's BBQ.

A brand new extension to the patio, added to the restaurant before the pandemic, has been mostly unused.

"We are trying to keep it a lot cooler for everybody to come in and enjoy the outside weather," said Cardoza. "It's a lot safer to eat outside. We do try to push the patio as much as we can. Unfortunately, it's hard to get people to eat outside in this heat."

The restaurant says several evaporative coolers have been installed to make outdoor seating more comfortable.

Heirloom in northeast Fresno revamped their patio during the stay at home order. They say the new misters installed in the remodel are paying off during this week's heat.

"We actually got out here kind of right when they opened and it was just before they had turned the misters on and it was significantly warmer," said Michelle Fiester, who dined on the patio Friday.

Michelle and her friends say despite hot temperatures, they opted to sit outdoors because it feels like the safest place in the restaurant to eat.

"I would rather be a little bit physically uncomfortable than be worried," she said.

For those wanting to avoid dining-in, Heirloom's takeout window is still in service.

Across town at MadDuck near Fresno State, the restaurant says they've seen a lull in patio diners as temperatures rise. They're continuing to offer curbside service so you can stay in your car and avoid the hot weather altogether.
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