Delaware Dining and Entertainment Venues Offer Outdoor Experiences
Outside of The Queen, and inside the venue’s new Knight’s Bar./Photos courtesy of BPG
From newly-opened outdoor spaces to free live music, local businesses are offering more to entertain guests and make them feel comfortable.
As the summer dwindles, Delaware’s local dining and entertainment venues are establishing a new experience—and this time, it’s taking place outdoors.
“Because of [the COVID-19 pandemic] we saw a clear opportunity to open the outdoor patios, adding a permanent fixture to a nice bar [and] helping our guests and artists feel more comfortable with fresh air circulating throughout the space,” says Sam Blumin, general manager of The Queen for The Buccini/Pollin Group.
Local eateries, breweries and entertainment venues like The Queen, Dew Point Brewing Company and Makers’ Alley are transitioning toward offering food and drink with outdoor events. Now customers can enjoy the same dedicated service prior to the pandemic, plus health and safety precautions and a little entertainment.
“There were multiple tasks carried out to set up the outside areas for maximum patron safety such as social distancing circles on the lawn, rearranging tables, social distancing signage, traffic patterns, etc.,” says John Hoffman, co-owner of the Dew Point Brew Company. “[That way] the outside space allows us to continue to support the great local musicians that Dew Point has been hosting since opening.”
Along with the promotion of live music alongside fan favorite meals, these and more businesses are striving to continue bringing the best of what they each have to the surrounding communities.
The Queen transformed a section of its space into an outside-inside concept called the Knights Bar which opened in late July. The $400,000 new bar and terrace includes an outdoor space meeting the necessary socially distant seating requirements. The bar currently has an extensive beverage menu and will offer food in the near future.
Looking to see the return of live music to Market Street, the opening of the Knights Bar will allow the Queen to join the efforts of Curbside Wilmington this summer, offering live entertainment to patrons. The space is open 5 p.m. to close Wednesday through Saturday.
“[With Makers’ Alley] we initially considered the entertainment option, with our business already being a mostly-outdoor space and, more specifically, a beer garden,” says Rich Snyder, the director of food and beverage of Makers’ Alley for The Buccini/Pollin Group.“[In addition to] adding security to enforce customers to comply with the mandatory safety regulations, we also decided to sponsor live music, which helps keep guests in their seats and listening, as well as promoting movie showings and vinyl record nights.”
And as the positive reactions pour in, these establishments will keep delivering nights for entertainment for both new and returning patrons for the next coming months—making this a cemented choice for those still recovering from the pandemic’s impact.
“Guests have expressed relief and find it a really comfortable atmosphere to enjoy live music free of charge…in their own words, ‘spending a few hours watching an artist perform is much more entertaining than sitting on the couch at home’… allowing the community to come together under such a stressful time,” Blumin says. “We definitely hope to see cities like Wilmington lay out these outdoor spaces to become more of a permanent kind of programming for businesses to expand to…especially with everyone getting used to something like a worldwide pandemic.”
“It’s great to give the community a place to go and relax and enjoy themselves, and to give the musicians a place to play, during this trying time,” Hoffman adds. “In the next coming months, we look forward to continue to give the community a place to relax and offer a little bit of normality.”