Greenhouse FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about dining in our Greenhouse Dining Sheds

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

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

Where did you get 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 they have to be assembled.  It is a very tedious process.  After building a base to attach it to, it then takes about 6-8 hours to assemble one.

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  as long as folks want to dine outside.  In direct sunlight it can get toasty warm inside, even in the winter.  They have definitely been a hit!  In fact, they are so popular that we stored them, and brought them back!

 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 is fully vaccinated and remains mostly outside and engages in minimal contact, there is very little contact with anyone.  You are essentially dining in the great outdoors, yet inside your own little bubble!

What happens when it rains or even when it snows?

We 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 a good while before you arrive.  It is completely aired out!  Then we wipe down all the contact surfaces, handles, seats, and other areas.  We also treat the interior 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 safer than your car 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.  The people you dine with should be those from whom you do care 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, in the winter… 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 will warm your toes.  It can even heat the inside up to a fairly reasonable temp. Some say an Irish Coffee helps too!  But of course, we do still have to open the door to serve your food and drinks.  As you can guess, when we open the door, the warm 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 unique 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 do require a small credit card deposit (applied to your check) to hold your reservation due to so many last minute cancellations.  It is fully refundable if cancelled at least 48 hours ahead of time.

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

You should definitely plan ahead.  We only have a limited number of Greenhouses to offer, so peak times are  almost always filled especially on weekends.  But there are some cancellations, and our mid-week availability is often very good.  Evenings are most popular, but the daylight hours really offer the absolute best Greenhouse experience!   Solar heat on a sunny day is an amazing and powerful thing, even in the middle of winter!   But we do maintain a cancellation list on our reservation site (see below).

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

We have an online reservation system for Greenhouse dining as well as indoor tables.  Be sure to select the correct experience (indoor / outdoor) when making your reservation.   Simply visit our on-line reservation system.  If the day and time you are looking for is filled, you can easily add your name to our cancellation list and you will be notified by email anytime it becomes available. Visit the reservation system here anytime or give us a call.