Café du Soleil, a French restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side has set up plastic bubbles on its sidewalk to protect customers from the spread of coronavirus and as well as shelter them from cold and rain.
Valerie Worthy, who came to the cafe with her two coworkers after seeing a story about the “space bubbles” on local TV channel NY1 told Reuters said it is one of the best experienced: “Well, I can tell you that with everything going on in this world, eating in a bubble is about one of the best experiences we can have. So, I mean, look at it. They have everything safe, clean. Everything is six feet apart. Love it.”
Cafe Du Soleil owner, Alain Chevreux, who bought the cafe 15 years ago, found the bubbles on the internet in July, when he was trying to figure out how to stay in business when the weather shifts to cold, together with the changing seasons.
According to Chevreux, each bubble costs $400 (₦152,200), but they are well worth the investment, he told Reuters.
“These bubbles can sit up to six people,” said Chevreux. “Families love it. Kids love it. Friends who want to get together love it. As a matter of fact, it was raining couple of weeks ago, midweek, pouring, raining. Everybody that was inside those bubbles were having a blast.”
Just like all other restaurants in the city, Cafe Du Soleil took a hit from the coronavirus lockdown. Outdoor dining became its saving grace.
Restaurants will be able able to reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity on Wednesday (September 30). But Chevreux said it’s not enough for his restaurant to survive. In the meantime, on Friday (September 25), New York City’s Mayor Bill De Blasio made New York City’s outdoor dining permanent and “year-round.”
But Chevreux said he is not sure how long into the winter he can use the bubbles.
“When the weather gets very cold, you can have as many bubbles as you have, but I’m not sure it’s gonna do the trick,” he said.
In the meantime, New York resident Sylvia Gonzalez enjoyed eating in one.
“When I saw it, as soon as I came in, I said, wait a minute, it looks like Cinderella’s carriage,” Gonzalez said while eating dinner with her friend, Blanca Morales and granddaughter, Angelina Gonzalez. “It’s beautiful. I like it. I like it. It’s very… quiet. It’s comfy. Really nice.”
“You feel like you have your own space,” added Blanca Morales, who said the bubble made her feel safe from coronavirus. “And you’re not being cluttered with other people, crowded, very, like, individual, you know? Like she said, I’m waiting for my prince to get here.”