Winter dining al fresco is usually a treat in the Valley of the Sun – we devoted a whole cover story to patio dining, after all. This week’s dreary, drippy weather has limited outdoor dining options, though. As if anticipating this, Scottsdale Quarter and Culinary Dropout have been plotting Desert Domes, partially closed geodesic domes for outdoor dining.
They follow in the wake of several major U.S. cities whose restaurants have introduced private dining structures to provide “COVID-safe” experiences. These pop-ups huts – from New York City’s yurts to Chicago’s greenhouses – are technically outdoors, yet they protect patrons from the elements, which is especially key in harsher Midwest and East Coast climes.
“We are thrilled to partner with Culinary Dropout to bring this new and innovative dining experience to our guests at Scottsdale Quarter,” says Scottsdale Quarter general manager Richard Hunt in a press release announcing Desert Domes, which will open this Friday, January 29. The structures will feature desert-chic décor, ambient lighting and heat – because 50 degrees is cold for us desert rats. Each dome seats up to six guests, who can order from the full Culinary Dropout food and beverage menu. Culinary Dropout’s signature yard games will remain open to diners.
“Our new Desert Dome dining option is perfect for guests who are more comfortable dining outdoors or who want a more private dining experience,” says Culinary Dropout general manager Ryan Justesen. “We’re so excited to bring this unique desert oasis to life.”
The domes will stay up through spring 2021. With any luck, vaccination will be widespread by then. If not, perhaps they might be brought back with misters and AC for our hellish summers?