Kevin Gardner, co-owner of Five Points Bakery, always has some tricks up his sleeve. And now, with COVID-19 hindering business all around he’s getting more creative than ever.
I passed by the bakery a few days ago and noticed that café seating had been added to the front yard, which greatly enhanced the outdoor dining options. “People are still looking to sit outdoors,” Gardner explained. “So we put picnic tables out front. We’re also in the process of coming up with a prototype to convert the outdoor tables into little ‘huts’ that will include roofs and dropdown canvas sides, with heaters. They will be private huts, where people can continue to sit outside even when the weather is colder. We want to make sure that people who don’t want to sit indoors have options instead of being cooped up.”
Gardner said that when COVID finally does go away, he’s going to use the huts for a new flea market that he now has a license to operate. The huts will be perfectly positioned as commercial pop-ups for vendors.
Gardner also told me that he is working on other ways to expand the outdoor seating. He’s looking to seat customers under the cafés awning, with plastic dropdown walls and heaters. There is also the possibility of enclosing the patio. “We’ve got some great cold weather plans,” said Gardner. “In the meantime, we just reopened our upstairs to seating eight tables – we’re pretty excited, because we haven’t had any customers inside since March. The way it works is that customers have their own back entrance – a flight of stairs in back that was originally built as an emergency exit… now it’s a functional entranceway. So the staff is downstairs, away from the customers, which helps to keep everyone safe. The staff doesn’t even deliver items to the tables – they bring everything to the top of the stairs, and the customers pick it all up. We’re very concerned about keeping people safe, and slowing the spread of the virus.”