Dec. 9, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
American Brass, a Long Island City-based restaurant, has installed a number of greenhouses in front of the establishment to cater to outdoor diners during the winter months.
The owner of the brasserie, located at 2-01 50th Ave, put down 15 greenhouses last month along the sidewalk on Center Boulevard that are fully heated and completely enclosed with hinged doors.
The restaurant currently has 10 greenhouses that each measure 8 feet by 6 feet and hold up to six people and 5 smaller greenhouses that each measure 6 feet by 6 feet, which can accommodate up to four diners.
American Brass plans to add seven more of the smaller units in the coming days which will go down on the roadway, according to owner Robert Briskin.
“People love them and prefer them over regular outdoor and indoor dining due to the fear surrounding COVID-19,” Briskin said.
An electrostatic spray gun is used to disinfect each greenhouse after meals and contactless ordering is in place to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, Briskin said.
“It removes the worry some people have of sharing circulating air with people they don’t know,” Briskin said.
The greenhouses have metal frames and polycarbonate coverings, which allows diners to catch a view of the Manhattan skyline, Briskin said.
Each unit is drilled down onto a 1 ½ foot tall wooden base and so far have not posed any problems during the winter weather, Briskin said.
“They are very solid and rigid. We’ve already had three days of strong winds and they were fine,” Briskin said.
Each unit is heated by a small propane unit which is certified for indoor use and can be adjusted by diners. They also come with a vent to ensure that they don’t fog up and are decorated with string lighting.
Each unit costs around $1,500 to purchase and assemble, he said.
“It’s a small price to pay for our customer’s happiness.”
Briskin said he ordered the units in October anticipating that indoor dining may not fully resume and is undeterred by the pandemic.
“We’re here to stay, one way or another we’re going to make it through,” he said.
American Brass is open for breakfast every Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for pick up only.
The restaurant is open for lunch every Wednesday to Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner is Wednesday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.