Top patios and decks to dine outside in Summit County
The Geiger Counter's weekend picks
Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.
A small silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic is the resurgence of the pedestrian mall and open-air seating. Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, Denver’s 16th Street Mall and Fort Collin’s Old Town were some of my first destinations when I came to Colorado, and I’ve always wanted the concept to catch on more.
Now Breckenridge and Frisco have entered the game by closing off portions of their streets and letting shops and restaurants expand out into the road. I’m going to miss it when the experiment ends, but at least some establishments have wonderful patios and decks regardless.
The safest and healthiest way to support a restaurant is to order food to-go. However, sitting outside is generally perceived as being the better choice over dining indoors. If you plan to eat on location, here are a few of my favorite places that have great decks and patios. Remember to always have a mask completely covering your nose and mouth before being seated at your table.
I’m technically not praising the restaurant’s deck or patio but rather its rooftop. It gives unparalleled views of Frisco, yard games on an artificial lawn and unique seating such as a swinging chair. I’ve rarely seen it crowded, likely since it’s up multiple flights of stairs. Don’t let that deter you — there’s a bar at the top ready for thirsty patrons. It’s a great way to stay physically distant and feel like you have the whole place to yourself.
If you want a closer view of Frisco’s busy downtown, then I suggest the patio of Bread + Salt. Enjoy a breakfast burrito or duck tacos situated at a shaded corner of Fourth Avenue and Main Street.
Over in Dillon, this longtime favorite for locals and visitors is housed in a historic building. Yet the outside patio is just as charming with a multitude of colorful flowers. It is a delightful spot to hang out on a Sunday morning whether it’s barbecue or bloody marys.
A deck in the front and a beer garden in the back means patrons get to choose where to spend their après evening. In between drinks, you can check out the ski company’s latest gear, too.
The tiered and spacious backyard of Kenosha stands out among Breckenridge restaurants. The ample space to gather means you can play a game of horseshoes and sip on one of the restaurant’s many craft brews.
Though not a traditional restaurant, in my mind Next Page Books & Nosh wins for most creative use of Main Street being closed to traffic. Setting up a makeshift park where folks can lounge and read is a great way to recreate its cozy café.
No matter where or how you eat, tip well.
With gym access nonexistent or limited during much of the pandemic, one way I’ve been enjoying the fresh air is running more than usual. And then when I come home to recuperate, I crack open Peter Sagal’s short and poignant memoir.
The host of NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” — who took up running in his 40s — focuses on his childhood and failed marriage, but he also peppers the novel with general running tips. While obviously not as detailed as Jim Fixx’s “The Complete Book of Running,” Sagal advises to have a running group, run without headphones to enjoy the outside world and not fall into the trap of fad diets.
What makes the book stand out, however, is that it starts with the experienced runner guiding a blind participant in the 2013 Boston Marathon, the same year as the fatal bombing. It becomes a main focal point as Sagal writes from a place of appreciation and dedication.
Jefferson Geiger is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Explore Summit.
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