Would you eat in a plastic igloo?

Add that to the list of questions you never had to think about before 2020.

The restaurant industry was dealt another major blow this week when Gov. Phil Murphy issued another executive order cutting off all indoor dining statewide at 10pm. (Not to mention serving alcohol after 10pm.) In all the hype it’s been mentioned he’s allowing igloos for outdoor dining. Igloos? Yes, if you haven’t heard, there are these plastic pods that look like igloos which can have you nearly entirely surrounded in your own little dome shaped pod.

But is that really outdoor dining then considering others will use it before and after you? Depends on the town.

NorthJersey.com recently ran this story citing a restaurant owner who invested thousands of dollars in these plastic igloos only to have the health department tell him he could not use them at his Moonachie business. And get this, it apparently has come down to different localities interpreting executive orders different ways.

When that same restaurant owner moved the igloos to his other restaurant in Englewood there were no complaints according to NJ.com.

Gov. Murphy this week said these plastic igloos are fine to use, yet there’s certainly been enough confusion. While the governor is on record saying the igloos are okay, another issue could be the kind of heater placed inside the structure for outdoor winter dining. Certain heaters won’t be allowed and some restaurant owners are saying the UL listed safety certified allowable ones are in scarce supply.

These igloos can be pricey. I’ve seen some on Amazon for $749 but I’ve heard of others going for as much as $1,400. That’s a huge investment for any business when the government can’t seem to figure out just what is and isn’t allowed.

Is dining out that important to you that you would sit inside a plastic dome with a space heater in the dead of winter? Doesn’t seem worth it to me. Not to mention the hysterical moment that’s bound to happen when a zipper breaks and a family is stuck inside awhile like the guy in the pod in Spinal Tap.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

NJ igloo outdoor dining in 2020

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