Osito's Tap has been staying afloat during winter time with outdoor Pods

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With cold temperatures settling in Chicago, many restaurant owners have had to get creative to keep business flowing. One restaurant in the Little Village community debuted outdoor seating "Block Party" pods that's been helping them stay afloat.

"As soon as the city shut down indoor dining back in mid to late October, our sales plummeted quite a lot," said Mike Moreno, owner of a self-described speakeasy Osito's Tap.

Luckily, Moreno said he received a call from the Mayor's office offering the bar outdoor pods installed three weeks ago.

The heated cube shaped pods was one of the winning ideas from the city's Winter Design Competition. The brains behind the "Block Party" pods creation are Neil Reindel and Florent Mettetal.

"We're hoping to kind of make something that can be very Instagram-able for people and, you know I haven't seen them in person myself yet but I've heard people really enjoy that aspect from it," said Reindel.

Moreno said the pods have turned his bar into a tourist destination saying that he's already seen more business coming in.

Moreno does share that the pods are only a temporary solution and opportunities for donated outdoor seating should be given to, not exclusively but especially to, black and brown owned businesses.

"If we really focus on getting more outdoor amenities such as this to the small mom and pop shops, not just major corporations, that really deserve it, then we can potentially save more businesses and more jobs," said Moreno.
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