New dome dining spot in Medford keeps customers warm and distanced

MEDFORD, Or.- Food trucks haven’t had to worry about the capacity limitations traditional restaurants are dealing with this year. But the cooler weather could challenge how food trucks serve their customers.

Some people may hesitate to visit outdoor food spots because of the colder temperatures. But a food cart in Medford is quickly adjusting to make sure people can get the full experience without the potential frostbite.

“They’re like ‘oh the places with the bubbles outside!’ and I’m like yep, that’s the place,” Chicken Shanty manager Malaki Gerlach says.

The Chicken Shanty on Jackson Street opened just two months ago but is already grabbing attention with a new outdoor addition. Gerlach says the new domes were put up because of the change in season.

“It’s been getting a lot colder and we noticed a lot of people aren’t really wanting to sit out here, so we got these dome things to keep everyone warm,” he said.

The domes feature seating, tables, and space heaters. They are also a perfect fit for the age of COVID-19, mirroring similar outdoor dining domes in New York City.

“People like it because it kinda social distances from other people out here, too,” Gerlach explained.

For any outdoor dining areas that want to do something similar, these types of domes are going to run about a thousand dollars apiece.

Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.
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