Birmingham restaurant construct ‘greenhouses’ for outdoor, distanced eating


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A local restaurant is bringing the dining room outside to be more pandemic-friendly.

Rojo has its indoor dining room area closed and plans to keep it closed until COVID-19 hospitalization numbers lower.

Co-owner Laney Dejonge is calling the outdoor structures greenhouses. The restaurant built five of them to give customers a private and socially distanced space to eat.

“They have their own little Christmas lights in them,” said Dejonge. “We might start decorating them a little differently. But they all have flaps on them that you can open and close.”

The tables and chairs in the greenhouses are disinfected in between uses. The restaurant said they are already getting positive feedback from their customers.

“I think people are really excited about the greenhouses,” said Dejonge. “It’s something new they haven’t tried before. 

The restaurant said they will keep using the greenhouses until COVID hospitalization numbers lower. The Alabama Hospital Association said the current numbers of COVID patients are alarming.

“We’re already at 1700 patients,” said Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association. “I’m very worried we’ll get to 2000 patients by Christmas, certainly by the end of the year. And what I don’t see is anything to slow down the spread of this disease. So, I am very worried.”

Rojo owners said if they’re able to obtain the permits, they may keep their greenhouses up after the pandemic ends, to give customers a place to eat outdoors during rainy days.


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