- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
July 25, 2019
Just when you think the outdoor dining options can’t get much better, someone creates a new way to unwind with appetizers, drinks or a meal. Six new venues open this season have it all — from games to rooftop views and, of course, delicious food and drink deals.
Hanging out at Vinyl Social Club is a fun trip back in time with its retro music, games and seating. Old-fashioned folding lawn chairs are the signature feature of the patio on the north side of the building on Western Avenue next to the Western Mall. Other seating options include big metal outdoor chairs “your grandma might have had,” bar stools and adirondack chairs. The club, which features old-school games like Skee-Ball and duckpin bowling, carries the activity outside. There’s putter golf, giant Jenga and Connect 4 sets. Bright yellow awnings provide shade when needed. Vinyl Social Club’s hours are 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday and noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Next door, Vinyl Taco has its own patio where the restaurant’s customers sit at picnic tables. Low fire pit walls frame one corner. Each patio for the seats 40 to 50 people, and each venue pipes its music – all from vinyl records — outside. Both are open only to those 21 and older. Vinyl Taco is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday. Restaurant drink specials include $2 margaritas on Wednesdays and $2 off jumbo margaritas on Fridays.
Fernson Downtown is making good use of the patio it inherited when it took over the former Bros Brasserie Americano space at 12th and Phillips. There’s room for 60 people at the tables and even more for the taproom’s patrons who want to stand around and talk. The space is nestled under trees on the south side of the building, which is next to a plaza that’s only open to foot traffic. There are huge planters filled with flowers, and lots of strings of patio lights. The space is family- and dog-friendly. Usually, customers order inside and take their beer and food out, but on Fridays and Saturdays there’s often patio service. Fernson has 12 of its craft beers on tap. The food come in lots of sizes, so it’s easy to have a variety of nibbles or share options like the shishito peppers, lamb chislic and fried chicken. On the east side of the building, there’s a private patio that can be rented out for parties. It seats 45 people. The taproom is open from 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 2 p.m. to midnight Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday.
The new patio at 22Ten Kitchen Cocktails is next to a gas station, but the restaurant has created a secluded space to enjoy a meal or a drink. Wooden walls block the view of the neighboring Kum & Go at 69th and Western. There’s landscaping with flowers and shrubs, strings of patio lights, cushioned seating areas and tables for dining. Part of space is covered, and there are umbrellas for hot, sunny days. The area seats 55. Happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. daily offers appetizer and drink specials for $4 to $6. Try the chive pesto fries, chicken bacon ranch flatbread or the duck sliders. The $5 drink options are a Moscow mule or a strawberry margarita. The restaurant is open until 10 p.m., except on Sundays when it closes at 9.
Roam Kitchen + Bar’s patio features an outdoor bar and full service. The patio is on the north side of the restaurant, which is in The District on the south side of The Empire Mall campus. Landscaping blocks much of the view of the concrete jungle. There’s seating for 100 at a mix of high-top and regular tables. Part of the area is covered, and there also are umbrellas for shade. Hang out and play corn hole, have a drink by one of the fireplaces or order appetizers or a meal from the menu. The restaurant plays music over its sound system and is working to add live music occasionally. Roam is open daily, closing at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday. Happy hours run from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 to 11 p.m. daily. Select drinks are $3, or get $2 off everything else. Appetizer choices, ranging from deviled eggs to beer-battered walleye fingers, are $4 to $8.
The revamped Blue Rock Bar & Grill at the Sanford Sports Complex now features two patios, include one on the rooftop. The ground patio, which opens up off of the restaurant area known as The Lodge, is available to all ages. It features full service but also has its own bar. The Upper Deck, which also spills out of an indoor area through glass garage doors, is for customers 21 and older. Both patios feature a variety of seating, from regular and high-top tables to comfortable chairs around fireplaces. Umbrellas provide shade for the mostly west-facing patios, and there are heat lamps for when the evenings start to turn chilly. Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with two-for-one domestic beers and house wines, and specials on food. The patios are open from 4:30 p.m. to close, which is 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday.
Patio season is short-lived around here, so enjoy it while you can. Here are six new spots to try.
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