Even before COVID-19, Delaware diners upped the demand for outdoor dining options, and alfresco spaces have become essential to many restaurant designs.
Not surprisingly, space affects the size and style of the seating.
Here are 10 to consider.
The Quoin Hotel & Restaurant in downtown Wilmington covers a lot of bases.
The renovated Romanesque brownstone sports a below-ground cocktail lounge — the Simmer Down — a boutique hotel and a bar.
But the talk of the town is a rooftop lounge with sunset views.
This will be the first full season for this new hotspot in the heart of historic Lewes.
Because the old brick Walsh Building fronts the sidewalk, there’s not much space for seating. Nevertheless, owners fit four tables that can hold three people. Select diners can see and be seen.
Dewey Beach visitors and residents have watched the construction of this new restaurant, which occupies the old Hammerhead’s space and an adjoining lot.
“It’s been a long, long road, but we’re getting to the finish line,” says Keith “Toastie” Kirk, a partner.
The restaurant, which should open this spring, has second-floor terrace seating, and the menu includes hard-shell crabs, Bethany Blues ribs and Ed’s Chicken recipe. (Ed’s Chicken & Crabs burned down in 2016.)
The newest location in the Delaware-based coffee chain is off Route 202 and sports a 1,400-square-foot outdoor area with lush landscaping that rivals the popular Trolley Square patio.
While Brandywine Hundred residents are happy to have a new Kid’s in their backyard, they’re even more pleased with the attractive, enclosed patio.
There is already a fire feature, but if all goes as planned, a small bar will be in the covered space in June.
This is the first summer for the outdoor area at this Mid-Town Brandywine food hall a 1313 N. Market St. – aka the “old Hercules.”
The 10,000-square-foot plaza’s design is a collaboration between the Delaware Horticulture Center, Sasaki Associates and Ruppert Landscape. Plantings include native plants, shrubs, perennials and grasses.
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In addition to general seating, private areas are enclosed by knee-high walls. Each section has tables with metal runners for ice, so guests can keep drinks cool in the summer.
The Challenge Program, a Wilmington organization that teaches construction and life skills to youth, made the furniture.
The Garden at Bardea
Last year, the new urban terrace wasn’t fully utilized, acknowledged Scott Stein, co-owner of the Bardea group’s restaurants. “This season, we’re going to open it up as its own concept with a unique menu and a cohesiveness between both restaurants.”
The partners also have plans to open a wine and pasta bar across the street in the fall.
The intimate restaurant in Independence Mall has always had a European flair.
But this summer, the influence will be more evident thanks to custom-made enamel-top square tables from France.
The restaurant is also investing in new umbrellas.
Bryan Derrickson, who owns Conch Island, now owns this Rehoboth Avenue restaurant, which was previously Port 251 and a series of eateries.
The patio now has new beachy murals to set the stage for a crush or three.
The iconic restaurant, which started in downtown Rehoboth, is not new. However, it’s now ensconced in a new building on Route 1 in Lewes, and there is a generously sized covered area for outdoor dining.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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