Igloos in Downtown Dayton? They could be a restaurant lifeline during pandemic

Two igloos were installed outside Mudlick Tap House that could extend their patio season well into the winter.
Two igloos were installed outside Mudlick Tap House that could extend their patio season well into the winter.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Mudlick Tap House has two new additions to its patio that could be a big help during the COVID-19 pandemic as we head into the colder months.

Two igloos were installed in front of the restaurant at 135 E. 2nd St. on Thursday, and Mudlick co-founder Jennifer Dean said a third is on its way.

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“We are incredibly excited to offer a unique dining experience under the stars!” posted Mudlick Tap House to its Facebook page.

Dean is part of a “league of independent restaurant owners” Facebook group and saw another restaurant had tried the igloos and was having success. The social media group has been a great help for people like Dean throughout the pandemic, she said, as its been a support network and idea collective for restaurant owners needing to get creative to stay afloat.

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Pre-coronavirus, Dean said Mudlick would be almost completely done with patio seating this time of year. If all goes well, the igloos could add 24 seats on the patio through the fall and winter.

“I kind of chatted with them and it worked out well for them,” Dean said. “Now, it seems to be something more and more places are doing. ... The lady that I messaged this morning who uses these igloos was in Minnesota and I was like, ‘Those things heat up in Minnesota?’ and yeah (they do)."

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Mudlick is still working on the igloo logistics and how it will handle reservation requirements if the restaurant does decide to seat reservation-only. Mudlick is also working on figuring out what kind of heaters it will use to keep the igloos warm.

The igloos seat eight people at two separate tables of four people. However, groups will need to be a part of the same party when dining in the igloos.

“We do ... the Griswold Christmas Eve brunch with Cousin Eddie and so I’m thinking like how awesome it’s going to look out there because we decorate,” Dean said. “So it’ll be really fun like around Christmas and we’ll put you know, lights and all of that.”

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