Insider Advice on Outdoor Spaces

Open-air spaces are now all the rage from coast to coast, and al fresco sipping, dancing and noshing undoubtedly will remain a craze in 2012. Bar, club and restaurant operators quickly are learning the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of taking the party outside.

Like any other element of your venue, outdoor spaces require planning to ensure that form and function are in sync to deliver the best guest experience possible. An added challenge is the need to plan for the unexpected — sudden shifts in weather that can turn a patio or rooftop Eden into a nightmare if contingency plans and systems aren’t in place. For example, many operators waking up to that first beautiful, sunny day of the season, complete with moderate temperatures, might count their blessings only to curse themselves later for not adequately preparing for the crowds that throng to the patios, eager to sip in the sunshine or dance under the stars.

Hotel Chantelle

The patio at the Hotel Chantelle Restaurant, Bar & Lounge in New York City.