Salt Springs Gets Tents Back

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Salt Springs Brewery will be getting its heated tents back for the winter, after winning the approval of the Saline City Council, October 25. Owner Ron Schofield said that the tents were crucial to the survival of his businesses as the world suffered through the worst of the Coronavirus pandemic, and it is still important for this year.

“Last year the tent was very important to allow people to come outside and feel comfortable dining. Even to this day, there is a portion of the public which are just not comfortable with going into buildings. This will give them an opportunity to dine in a nice restaurant, be outside and not have to worry about dining indoors,” Schofield said.

The council actually doubled his initial request to be allowed special permission to have a tent from 90 days to 180 days. Councilor Janet Dillon was the only one to vote against the measure, explaining that she preferred a 120 day period with the option to extend it next year when the business and administration could consider demand, safety, and weather conditions.

The interior of Salt Spring's tent from last year. Image Credit: Ron Schofield, Salt Springs Brewery.

The tents will keep the worst of the weather off customers. There will be electric heaters at every table, backed up by propane heaters, to take most of the winter chill away. Schofield said it would remain important for customers to “dress appropriately.”

“It’s not a comfortable 72 degrees, but it’s not bad tailgating weather,” Schofield said.

The tent permission that was approved in late October only applies to Salt. But other companies in Saline could apply to do the same thing if they submit a site plan and complete all required documentation mandated by the city.

After the tents are established, the city will require inspections from the building department and the fire department. The business will be required to then modify where and how they have set up any tent to comply with health and safety regulations.

"If everything goes well, it would take less than a day,” Assistant City Manager Mike Greene said. “They would submit a drawing to show where everything is going to be laid out. Once they actually put it up and if the building chief or fire chief go in and see that something is wrong, they will request changes to be made.”

Topline Image Credit: Ron Schofield, Salt Springs Brewery.

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