Some outdoor patios in Nelson are not just a summer thing. You can now enjoy your food and drink outside during the winter months.

The City of Nelson recently approved Backroads Brewing, Main Street Diner, Pitch Fork, and Rel-ish to continue operating their patios.

Heading into the season and coming off of the pandemic, Mayor John Dooley said businesses are looking for the extra revenue that was lost during the summer.

“What’s happened is, particularly with the restaurant and bar industry, is their indoor capacity has been reduced and this is one way that can help raise that capacity, fairly reasonably priced, otherwise it’s really difficult for them to make ends meet.”

When it comes to trying to stay warm while eating outside and potentially in the snow, Dooley said the City considering for is hoping the businesses can use environmentally-friendly heating methods in future years.

“We were hoping that we would encourage the business to heat them with electric heat rather than gas because of the carbon emissions from gas, however, this point in time we realize that the projects that are out there right now are pilot projects and some of those businesses have already invested in gas heaters and we don’t want to put them under any financial stress.”

The patios staying open are running as a pilot project to determine the success of the outdoor patios in the winter. After this year, they will then assess and make any changes needed for future seasons.