'An experience:' Edmonton restaurants expand outside dining with domes

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Edmonton restaurants are coming up with innovative ways to expand capacity, allowing patrons to dine both inside and outside amidst ongoing COVID-19 public health restrictions — and winter.

Along 124 Street are several bubbled eating areas extending off the sidewalk outside Tiramisu Bistro; owner Seble Issac, calls the domes ‘igloos’. She ordered the 70-foot heated, private eating spaces earlier this winter.

“People love it. Like they sit down they think they’re in Paris or something,” said Issac. “I’m very thankful that I got the opportunity to bring them here and to be able to put them on the street side.”

The domes must be booked in advance, each one sanitized between each seating. Once diners are inside the heated area, they have access to bluetooth speakers they can play their own music through. And, across the street is a small park filled with lighting that Tiramisu staff control to change the mood for outdoor diners.

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“Edmonton (wants) to be global went to city, so I’m thinking this would be the best way of doing it,” said Issac. “It’s just gorgeous. You can see the snow, you can see the stars when the lights are off. So what an experience.”

Chris Vilcsak, Tania Dunham and Emma Lenuik, dining inside a dome for a second time in a week, are happy customers.

“It’s an experience that’s different,” said Dunham. “It’s just something fun and new that makes the experience more enjoyable.”

Tiramisu is not the only restaurant adding additional dining space with various types of domes and bubbles.

Further south, the patio of Rebel Food and Drinks is draped in a large white dome. Manager Amrit Saraf said since they opened the area earlier this winter.

“We have the exact same type of setup as we do in our main restaurant in terms of there’s barriers between each tables, there’s enough spacing, there’s enough heat source, light source, everything feels kind of cozy out there,” said Saraf.


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