Parksville restaurant patrons can now enjoy a unique outdoor dining experience.
Since Dec. 11, patrons of the Pacific Prime Restaurant at the Beach Club Resort can reserve an outdoor plastic bubble to enjoy dinner and take in the surroundings. The three domes can accommodate up to six people from within the same household or “social bubble” in order to adhere to the latest B.C. public health order. Each dome is made of a thick durable plastic capable of withstanding winds up to 60 km/h, 40 kilograms of snow and will operate “rain or shine” for the rest of the season. Diners will also find a heater and dehumidifier inside to enhance the experience.
Reservations for the domes can only be placed online through the Beach Club’s website, with staggered arrival windows to ensure proper social distancing for each party. Though currently only available for evening reservations, the website states that lunch and brunch bookings may soon be on the horizon.
Diners can expect to pay $69 per person, plus tax and gratuity, for a pre-set three-course meal. Additionally, a $100 dome rental fee needs to paid at the time of booking in order to complete the reservation, and any special dietary requirements should be noted during the booking process as well.
Karen Dizon, who works front desk at the Beach Club Resort, said the domes were added as a means to maximize dining availability for patrons since they’ve had to start turning people away due to COVID-19 restaurant seating restrictions.
“We have a great patio that’s really popular in the warmer months, and so to enhance that dining experience outside, our general manager came up with this idea. And it’s been very successful,” said Dizon.
Since they’ve started accepting reservations, Dizon said the domes have been booked every night.
“I think people are just very eager to get out, so this has provided an additional experience for them.”
Dizon said the experience may only be offered through the winter, as the summer months can normally fit 15 tables on the patio, instead of just the three.
While this is the first year the Beach Club Resort has offered a dome dining experience, Dizon remains optimistic about future use in coming years.
“I imagine we’ll continue with it, given the early success that we’ve seen, but that’s something our general manager would assess after the season.”
She also confirmed that the domes are owned by the establishment and that future use is “quite likely.”
As per their website, The Beach Club Resort stated they’ve worked with the local health authority on “rigorous multi-point” protocols to ensure the well-being of patrons while dining. As part of the new protocols, party seating times are staggered with proper sanitization and air exchange in between bookings. Servers do not enter the domes while occupied, and instead leave patron’s orders on a tray at the entrance of the dome where food and beverages are passed to and from guests.
Dome dining has shown to be popular on the Lower Mainland since early 2019, as several Vancouver restaurants offer a similar outdoor dining experience.