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Dining Out: Outdoor dining continues well into fall


This week has been as warm as summer, but the shorter days of October are a reminder that colder weather will too soon bring an end to the luxury of dining outdoors.

The exceptions are the restaurants that set up heaters outside when the temperature starts to drop. They extend their season so that customers can continue to enjoy the views from patios and porches overlooking the Delaware River or Delaware Canal or on the street where they can watch the world go by.

A landscaped outdoor patio is among the most popular seating areas for the River Cat Café, one of New Hope’s newest restaurants. Even rainy and overcast days don’t keep customers inside, said owner Alison Kingsley. “When it rains the umbrellas are big enough to offer them cover.”

Kingsley was shopping for outdoor heaters recently, anticipating the return of cold weather soon. With outdoor seating so popular, she is hopeful the restaurant will be able to expand next spring with additional seating. In the meantime, the new heaters will allow them to extend the time that customers can dine outside.

Expansion has already been completed at the Riegelsville Inn in Riegelsville, where upstairs and downstairs porches overlook the river and patio seating provides a view of the canal. Heaters also will be used there to extend the time customers can eat outdoors, and speed up the time when they can return in the spring.

Outdoor heaters have been used at the Centre Bridge Inn outside New Hope for years, offering comfort to customers who enjoy the inn’s lovely view overlooking the Delaware River.

Further upriver the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville has used heaters for years to extend the time that dining customers can watch the river go by.

In Lahaska, the Buttonwood Inn’s popular patio seating will use outdoor heaters until it’s too cold to ward off the chill. Located in Peddler’s Village, this time of year their view includes the annual scarecrow display.

Outside Doylestown, the expanded and renovated Water Wheel Tavern will use heaters so that customers can continue to have dinner and drinks outside.

Zoubi in New Hope may be the restaurant with the most time for outdoor dining in Bucks County. Heaters keep customers warm on a courtyard patio that is open for much of the year.

Also in New Hope, the Logan Inn heats its terrace seating during cooler weather. In Washington Crossing, the Washington Crossing Inn’s outdoor dining is among the most popular, so heaters appear when the nights become cool.

Meanwhile, while the weather stays warm, there are dozens of additional restaurants with outdoor dining throughout the area. Winter will be here soon enough; the time to enjoy them is now.