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.
“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 .
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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