As restaurants in Utica, Rome and Syracuse prepare for the onslaught of inclement fall and winter weather in Central New York--and an uncertain future due to COVID-19--there's a new trend they might want to look into.

Bubbles. That's right, bubbles. A restaurant in Cooperstown, Bocca Osteria (photo above), has been using them. It's an ingenious play against the threat of coronavirus. These are self-enclosed plastic pods set up for outdoor dining, so customers can enjoy their meals, even when it's cold or raining.

Cafe Du Soleil, a restaurant on the upper westside in New York City, has also been using them. And they've been life-savers. Manager Maxim Rousselot says the bubbles, which cost $400 each and can seat up to six people each, have been very popular with diners so far. Here's a video from YouTube:

And here's a picture from the Cafe du Soleil Facebook page:

Credit: Cafe du Soleil Facebook page
Credit: Cafe du Soleil Facebook page

Indoor dining is banned in New York City until October, when restaurants can open to 25 percent capacity. Rousselot said his eatery might not have made it without outdoor dining, and the dining bubbles have been a big part of their survival strategy.

Here's the address for Cafe du Soleil: 2723 Broadway, New York.

Bocca Osteria is located here: 5438 State Highway 28, Cooperstown. Or reach them at 787-727-8017.

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