Where to dine al fresco in Greater Cincinnati this winter


As states prepare for winter outbreaks of COVID-19 during the emergence of the omicron variant, restaurant enthusiasts will again face an all-too-familiar dilemma this cold season.

Is it safe to eat or drink indoors?

Fortunately, many restaurants, brasseries and bars have become accustomed to adapting to the pandemic and providing adequate resources for individuals to safely dine outside during the winter.

Many restaurants have added igloos to outdoor terraces, set up heaters and fireplaces, and set up makeshift tents with ventilation.

If you’re looking to dine this winter but want to make sure you head to a venue with precautions in place, here’s a list of a few places that will provide an outdoor dining experience in Greater Cincinnati.

AC Upper Deck at The Banks

The AC Hotel at the Banks now has heated igloos on the upper rooftop deck.

Skyline views of downtown and northern Kentucky are still possible during winter at AC’s Upper Deck, which features igloos, fireplaces, and heaters. The restaurant’s igloo dining room is open Tuesday through Saturday and can seat up to eight people in each space. A non-refundable deposit of $ 31.05 is required in advance and a minimum total food and beverage purchase of $ 125 is required Tuesday through Thursday, while a total expenditure of at least $ 250 is required on Fridays and Saturdays. A reservation can be made at aupperdeck.com/igloos.

135 Joe Nuxhall Way, city center.

Arnold’s Bar & Grill

Cincinnati’s oldest tavern covers its outdoor patio during the cold months and adds heaters to keep its back patio warm.

210 E. Eighth St., Downtown.

Blind pig

This “modern speakeasy” keeps her garage door closed during the cold months and has a tent on parts of her patio with fire pits available.

24 W. Third St., Downtown.

Igloobar at Braxton Brewing

Braxton Brewing has once again brought back its Igloobar, which features 10 heated rooftop igloos that can accommodate up to eight people.

Heated igloos. Padded seats. Bluetooth speakers. Braxton Brewing Co.’s Covington rooftop igloobar can accommodate up to eight people for alfresco dining during the cold months. Reservations include a two-hour time slot in which guests can dine and drink. A reservation fee of $ 30 is required and refundable up to 48 hours before the reservation is made. To book an igloo, visit braxtonbrewing.com.

27 W. Seventh Street, Covington.

BridgeView Box Park in Newport on the seawall

The BridgeView Box Park is bringing back its “Winterized” tent and heaters this season. The entertainment area hosts a number of food, drink and shopping vendors.

1 Levee, Newport.

Fire catcher pizza

Enjoy an al fresco meal at Catch A Fire Pizza in Blue Ash on December 1, 2021. The restaurant has six igloos.  Three large igloos can accommodate up to six people.  The rate is $ 35 for two hours.  Three smaller ones are good for two people.  This rate is $ 20.  Each igloo is heated and has a blue tooth so you can bring your own pieces.

New in 2021, Catch-A-Fire offers its patrons three small igloos that the restaurant says are “perfect for couples.” The pizzeria will also bring back three larger igloos that can accommodate up to six guests. The igloos are decorated in a winter setting and have Bluetooth speakers. Igloos are cleaned between reservations. Reservations include a two hour time slot. A non-refundable reservation fee of $ 20 is required for small igloos, while large igloos require a fee of $ 35. To book, visit catchafirepizza.com/igloos.

9290 Kenwood Road, blue ash.

Sanitary bloc

The sanitary block still displays the old entrances for men and women.

Fireplaces are back this year at Comfort Station, a bar hidden inside an old public washroom that still displays male and female entrance signs. Four large fireplaces are available to keep guests warm in the winter.

793 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills.

Covington Court

With covered spaces and heaters dotted around its outdoor setting, guests can enjoy Korean barbecue, beers, and cocktails outside this winter season.

401 Greenup Street, Covington.

DeSha’s American Tavern

Patio igloos are now open at DeSha’s, offering a “unique, private, full-service dining experience.” The igloo features a heated fireplace, air purifier, festive fairy lights, lanterns and plants. Patio igloo rental fees are: $ 25 for daily lunch, $ 40 Sunday to Thursday for dinner, $ 50 Friday and Saturday. The igloos can accommodate up to six people and reservations are for two hour periods. To reserve, dial 513-247-9933.

11320 Montgomery Road, Symmes Township.

Fifty West Brewing Co.

Fifty West’s burger and beer garden will once again have an ice rink this season with heated tents and fire pits as part of its “Winter Wonderland” initiative.

7668 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township.

Kon-Tiki in Newport on the seawall

Kon-Tiki’s Fire Lounge Igloo experience features four igloos that can accommodate up to eight people and include: Bluetooth speakers, board games, and heaters. A reservation deposit of $ 50 is required and includes a minimum spending amount of $ 100 for four to eight people. To book, visit kontikiontheevee.com.

1 Levee Way Suite 21377, Newport.

MadTree Brewing Company

MadTree has active heaters on some tables and tents around its outdoor space during the cold months.

3301 Madison Road, Oakley.

MadTree has opened a new outdoor lounging area with games, seating, and a mural.

Nomad KY

The Nomad offers heaters and a bonfire to keep guests warm during the winter months. The restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes and drinks on its terrace.

225 Fairfield Avenue, Bellevue.

PearlStar Oyster Camp + Bar

The PearlStar’s Courtyard Cabana has a large outdoor tented area with heaters located in the middle of the patio.

1220 Vine St, on the Rhine.

View inside the winter outdoor dining room at PearlStar Oyster Camp + Bar on Thursday, December 2, 2021, on Vine Street in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati.

The Washington Park porch

The Porch offers Coca-Cola products, wine, beer, and seltzer from local brands such as Taft’s, Rhinegeist, and Fifty West Brewing, and offers seating next to heaters. Check the porch Facebook page for opening hours and information on closings.

1230 Elm St., on the Rhine.

Samuel Adams tasting room

Samuel Adams’ Over-The-Rhine Brewery has a patio with heaters and a fireplace during the cooler months.

1727 Logan St., on the Rhine.

The view at Shires Garden

Panoramic stadium and river views accompany the Garden Igloo and Terrace Greenhouse experiences at The View at Shires Garden. Igloo rentals at Shires Garden come with a minimum spend agreement of: $ 100 for two people, $ 150 for four, $ 200 for four to eight people and $ 300 for four to eight people on weekend nights -end. The igloos are heated and equipped with Bluetooth speakers and are available from November to March. A deposit of $ 50 is required when booking. To book, visit theviewatshiresgarden.com.

309 Vine Street, 10th Floor, Downtown.

Vista at Lytle Park

The rooftop patio above the Lytle Park Hotel has a fireplace to keep diners warm in the winter.

311 Pike Street, downtown.

Did we miss something? Let us know! Email the author at [email protected].


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