Rockford’s Josef’s Steakhouse, Alchemy at Aldeen offers igloo dining

ROCKFORD – Outdoor dining activities remain vibrant at two local restaurants despite the arrival of flurries of snow, howling winds and sub-zero temperatures.

According to restaurant owner Lola Renner, hungry customers enjoy their meals in plastic igloos set up at Josef’s Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, 6860 Spring Creek Rd.

“It’s like being in a snow globe when the snow is falling,” Renner said. “I think it’s the best time to sit inside when it’s cold outside and snowing.”

Three different holiday-themed igloos — each accommodating up to six people — are available for dining on Josef’s terrace.

Each igloo is equipped with a heater and blankets. Reservations are required and seating is limited between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Guests enjoy dining inside the igloos set up at Josef's Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, 6860 Spring Creek Rd.

“Everyone really enjoyed them,” Renner said. “People enjoyed celebrating birthdays indoors rather than just going out to dinner. Igloos are a bit more private. You want to dress for the weather, but they’re pretty toasty inside.

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Alchemy at Aldeen, 1902 Reid Farm Rd., offers alfresco dining in six separate igloos, located on the patio overlooking Aldeen’s golf course.

Each igloo has a table for up to six people, said Alchemy general manager Patrick Gallaher.

“They all have heaters, blankets, throw pillows and centerpieces,” Gallaher said. “The wind was a bit rough at first but we have zipped sandbags around them (igloos) to keep them safe. We have strong cafe lighting above the patio which is new this winter .

General Manager Patrick Gallaher shows off the dining igloos on the patio on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 at Alchemy at Aldeen in Rockford.

Alchemy’s igloos are available for lunch or dinner. There is no additional charge for meals inside the igloos.

“We’ve had a wide range of people using them and so far everyone has enjoyed them,” Gallaher said. “They thought the igloos were warm enough, but it’s still an outdoor meal. Even with a heater, it’s not a T-shirt and shorts vibe. Dress accordingly as waiters come in and out of the igloos.

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Patrons enjoy their meals in plastic igloos set up at Josef's Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, 6860 Spring Creek Rd.

Ken DeCoster: [email protected]; @DeCosterKen

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