Greenhouse FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about dining in a Greenhouse Dining Shed

What’s the story with the little glass dining houses on the Terrace at Scargo Cafe?  

Pods, Sheds, Terrariums, Igloos, Domes… we’ve heard them called lots of things.  Our outdoor “dining sheds” are actually Poly-carbonate Greenhouses.  They are specifically designed for all weather, outdoor protection for growing plants.  They are now serving as a protective outdoor dining option for our guests too!

Where did you buy them?

Our greenhouses can be ordered on-line from Specialty Garden Suppliers, Home Depot, Lowes, and other sources.  The Greenhouses arrive as a kit and have to be assembled.  It is a tedious process and after building a base to attach it to, it then takes about 6-8 hours to assemble.

How long will you be offering Greenhouses for outside meal service?

We will be serving outdoors in our greenhouses and our covered deck with electric radiant heaters, as well as our outdoor terrace, for as long as guests are interested in dining outdoors.  We have no plans to stop serving there this winter.  In fact, they are so popular that if we can find a place to store them, we may even have them next winter too!

 Is Greenhouse Dining safer than dining indoors?

Let’s just say that our Greenhouses are a safe and easy way to remain 99% socially distant from other diners as well as people you typically encounter while dining out.  Other than your server, who remains masked and engages in minimal contact, there is far less contact with anyone else.  You are essentially dining inside, but outside!

What happens when it rains or even when it snows?

We will dress for the occasion and serve you no matter what!   “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep our servers from their appointed guests.” Rest assured we’ll work in teams to deliver your food and drink using umbrellas, shovels, plows, or whatever it takes!

I’m not so sure I want to get inside and breathe the air from previous diners…  isn’t that what happens?

This is the most common concern and most frequent question we get from our guests. Fresh air is the key reason that most folks want to dine outdoors in the first place!  Getting inside a greenhouse is kind of like getting inside a car…  It’s very important how you take care of that car!  We open up the doors and the sunroof of that “greenhouse dining car” for at least 10 minutes before you arrive.  Then we wipe down all the controls, handles, seats, and other surfaces.  We also thoroughly treat the interior air with a specially designed electrostatic disinfectant gun or aerosol spray.  In addition to being fully sanitized, your greenhouse undergoes a total ventilation and a complete change of fresh air.  In the end it is probably a whole lot safer than your ride to the restaurant!  

How are the Greenhouses cleaned?

Besides being disinfected between visits, our greenhouses are thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and disinfected each day, just like our indoor dining areas are before we open for service.

How many people can dine in a Greenhouse?

We have small greenhouses that hold a table for two and others that hold a table for four.  The larger ones can actually accommodate five people if you don’t mind it a bit tight.  Remember, we expect that you are dining with people in your regular circle, “bubble” or household  from whom you do not expect to distance yourself from. Oftentimes more than four guests is not an issue with small children.  But essentially our dining sheds are designed for two to four.

But they’re still outside… is it cold in there?

We try not to tout them as “heated” even though each one has a small electric heater.  Since you’re in a shelter, you’re protected from the wind and elements.  As you might imagine, it’s kind of like getting into a cold car, and waiting for the engine to warm up!  The heater under the table that will warm your toes.  It can heat the inside up to a fairly reasonable temp.  But of course, we do still have to open the door to serve your food.  As you can guess, when we open the door all the air escapes (kind of a good thing), so it’s time to start heating the inside air all over again!  Remember… this is still considered “outdoor dining”… with a twist!

Is there a special Greenhouse menu?

We considered offering a special menu package but decided to serve the same menu of delicious food and drink that we serve indoors.  We may offer some packages in the future but for now it’s just a very cool alternative place to enjoy lunch or dinner.

What is the cost to dine in a Greenhouse?

No extra charge at all!  We just want to offer you an interesting and safe dining option.  Since we have limited numbers of Greenhouses to offer right now, availability is tight.  We may begin requesting a small non-refundable deposit to hold your reservation due to last minute cancellations.

Do I need reservations?… If so, are they hard to get?

You definitely need to plan ahead.  With only a limited number of Greenhouses to offer we tend to be booked ahead , especially on weekends.  But we do have last minute cancellations and mid-week availability is often very good.  Evenings are most popular, but the daylight hours offer the absolute best Greenhouse experience!   Solar heat on a sunny day is an amazing and powerful thing, even in the middle of winter!   Give us a call to inquire any time. 508-385-8200

I can’t wait!… How do I reserve a Greenhouse?

We have an online Greenhouse reservation system in the works that will be available very soon, but for now, give us a call most anytime.