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How local restaurants plan to make the most of outdoor dining for the rest of the year

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outdoor seating

(WBNG) -- As temperatures dip across the Southern Tier, restaurants have to come up with a plan for this winter, and local owners say getting creative with outdoor dining will be a big part of success.

Figuring out how to keep people in seats will be a major focus this winter according to Social on State co-owner Mark Yonaty. Governor Andrew Cuomo currently had an executive order limiting seating capacity indoors to 50% for the Southern Tier region.

Restaurant owners like Yonaty and Dan Polhamus at Food & Fire said any increase in capacity would be a big boost to their business. For the next few months however, their goal is to be able to maximize the outdoor seating available.

Most importantly, they said you have to find a way to keep the guests warm.

"You can certainly notice the change in the weather now where the nights are getting a little bit cooler," said Yonaty Thursday. "We're fortunate to have a private patio in the back of our building which allows us to have a alternative heat source for dining, but that only takes you so far until maybe November."

Yonaty added having this outdoor deck allows them to have the propane heaters, something the city of Binghamton doesn't allow on the sidewalk.

He said outdoor seating will only be an option for the next couple months before it simply gets too cold, no matter what heating measures are in place.

Josh Rosenblatt

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