Area establishments are offering a unique way to serve customers safely as the weather gets colder.
And that includes offering safe and warm igloo-shaped spots for people to enjoy.
Several area businesses are bringing the dome-shaped outdoor spaces to people who want to be with friends, enjoy good food and drinks and also remain safe during the ongoing pandemic.
Last winter, 603 Brewery in Londonderry unveiled four outdoor igloos at its space on Main Street within the Woodmont Commons development, complete with heat and colorful lights.
This season, 603 has added an additional four igloos but with specific safety protocols in place for customers who wish to enjoy the outdoor spots.
That includes booking the igloos by reservation only and seating up to six people within the plastic-walled dome frame.
At night the igloos shine with primary colors glowing in the night and are also dog friendly.
It's a way to offer customers a fun way to enjoy 603 while staying safe during COVID-19 concerns.
Morgan Kyle, 603's marketing and events director, said once again, the igloos are popular. By adding an additional number for the upcoming season, more customers can be accommodated and kept safe, she said.
"This year, you can book (igloos) for Friday, Saturday and Sunday," Kyle said, adding the domes can be used for one hour, 45 minutes to keep customers safe and to give time between bookings for a complete cleaning and sanitizing of the space.
The igloos still have heaters inside but also are now equipped with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to keep the flow of fresh air going, an added safety protocol put in place, Kyle said.
The brewing company was founded in 2012 by three college friends — Tamsin and Geoff Hewes and Dan Leonard — all wanting to put something they loved into an action/business plan.
The former 603 location in Londonderry was on Liberty Drive, but owners decided it was time to grow.
That's when the opportunity to expand into the 600-acre Woodmont became a reality.
In the summer of 2019, 603 opened its new, bigger space with a custom-built brewing operation, beer hall and expanded drink and food options.
Kyle said it's all about keeping customers safe and feeling comfortable while visiting 603 during these pandemic times.
And for those wanting to frequent the brewery's indoor space, Kyle said tables are spaced apart and capacity numbers are less than before as to follow the official safety rules of restaurants and other businesses.
"We are not at normal capacity due to space," she said.
It's all about making sure customers are safely distanced and also know all the guidelines in place once they arrive at 603.
"We meet weekly about the pandemic," Kyle said, "about what we should be doing."
Kyle said it's important for the brewery to remain as open as possible about what the rules are so customers know what to expect.
"And being transparent about cleaning, etc.," she said. "It's the biggest thing we can do."
Fody's Tavern on Rockingham Road in Derry also offers unique outdoor eating space within its own plastic dome-shaped spots.
The business has five of the outdoor domes on its deck, welcoming up to eight people for private parties or other gatherings, by reservation.
Fody's also takes its safety measures very seriously with each space cleaned thoroughly between customer visits. Each dome at Fody's also has LED lighting, a personal blue tooth speaker system and serves guests for one hour and 45 minutes by reservation.