Local Businesses Scramble To Handle The Increasingly Colder Temperatures Amid COVID Restrictions

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC. — Stumptown Station in Matthews never had outdoor seating, until the owners realized it’s essential to keep their business going. The bar on North Trade Street, opened for the first time last week after being shut down because of the pandemic.

“The town of Matthews was actually nice enough to give us outdoor space and set up some barriers in the road for us to give us some parking lot space,” says owner Brandon Mills.

Mills says having an outdoor space costs money. To adapt, they bought two heaters, which cost about $200 each.

“Having to all of a sudden drop a few thousand dollars on patio equipment for time. That’s not patio-based weather was definitely a real challenge.”

The Goodyear House in NoDa added heated igloos to their outdoor area. The restaurant was only open for 48 days before shutting down because of COVID.

“We had very little time to build back any of the money that had been invested into the property through the opening process,” says General Manager Sean Potter.

Potter says the restaurant bought four heated igloos for $1,400 a piece. They’re on a waiting list for more.

“We knew that with cold weather coming in the winter that we had this beautiful outdoor space that is really helping us continue to be successful and maintain during this pandemic.”

As COVID cases continue to rise in Mecklenburg County, Potter hopes the investment will pay off.

“Do we worry every day about the potential possibility of a closure? Absolutely?”