fb-pixel Skip to main content

Through the plexiglass: Restaurants are designing indoor seating a bit differently

Jeremiah Cossa from Mission Hill in Boston is pictured as he dines at one of the bar tables with glass on both sides of him. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
Jeremiah Cossa from Mission Hill in Boston is pictured as he dines at one of the bar tables with glass on both sides of him. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Cooling temperatures, coupled with Governor Charlie Baker’s loosening of restrictions for bar seating and parties of 10 or more, have restaurant owners looking to bring more patrons indoors. But fears about the airborne transmission of the coronavirus mean owners need new ways of making people feel safe.

Now, after having scrambled to buy outdoor tables and seating for the summer months, restaurateurs are investing in barriers of all shapes and sizes to help create state-compliant divisions between diners.

At Gaslight in the South End, Jeff Gates installed partitions between his tables this week and is waiting for a contractor to install plexiglass for the bar, as well.

Advertisement



“You’re spending about $300 for a booth, $400 for a bar seating, and $500 for a mobile partition,” he said, but the partitions allow him to add 16 more seats, which will equate to $12,000 to $15,000 a week in additional sales.

Jeff Gates is pictured in an inside booth with newly installed plexiglass barriers at his restaurant Gaslight on Harrison Avenue.
Jeff Gates is pictured in an inside booth with newly installed plexiglass barriers at his restaurant Gaslight on Harrison Avenue. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Andy Husbands, the owner of Smoke Shack BBQ restaurants, took a more DIY approach this week.

Andy Husbands, the owner of Smoke Shop BBQ, is building 20 plexiglass barriers at his home to be used inside his restaurants.
Andy Husbands, the owner of Smoke Shop BBQ, is building 20 plexiglass barriers at his home to be used inside his restaurants. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

He and his team built 20 mobile partitions at his home in Stoneham. Each plexiglass divider cost about $170 to make, he said, but they’ll allow him to nearly double the occupancy of the restaurants.

Matheus De Araujo, director of BBQ operations, takes measurements of a plexiglass barrier in the basement of Andy Husbands home.
Matheus De Araujo, director of BBQ operations, takes measurements of a plexiglass barrier in the basement of Andy Husbands home. David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

And in Milton, the architect who designed the restaurants Novara and Abby Park also designed their sleek plexiglass dividers, which were installed shortly after indoor dining resumed in the state.

“We’re very proud of our COVID-modern look,” joked Vance Welch, the restaurants’ managing partner. “I think we’ll have a hard time taking them away, people like them so much."

Pictured at the bar, which has many glass dividers for customers, are Bob and Mary Langlois of Milton, who are chatting with some friends seated at another table.
Pictured at the bar, which has many glass dividers for customers, are Bob and Mary Langlois of Milton, who are chatting with some friends seated at another table.Jim Davis/Globe Staff





Janelle Nanos can be reached at janelle.nanos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @janellenanos.