(WHDH) — As restaurants across the United States begin to prepare to winterize their outdoor dining areas, one major city has selected three unique solutions that could keep eateries afloat and customers comfortable, even if snow is in the forecast.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced last week that the city has selected three finalists for the final round of the “Winter Dining Challenge,” a competition for community members to reimagine the winter outdoor dining experience.

The three finalists in the challenge emerged from a pool of more than 600 submissions. The ideas are as follows:

  • ASD | SKY, Cozy Cabins: Small modular, adjoining ‘cabins’ that fit within the footprint of a standard parking space.
City of Chicago
  • Neil Reindel, Block Party: A flexible approach to outdoor dining that is adaptable and easy to implement for many different sites and street configurations.
City of Chicago
City of Chicago

“As we approach the winter months and adapt our COVID-19 response accordingly, we owe it to our restaurants to make sure they have what they need to continue keeping their doors open and serving their communities,” Lightfoot said. “Thanks to IRA and the outstanding creativity of our Winter Dining Challenge winners, we will be able to not only make this a reality, but do so in a way that is safe and showcases our city’s innovative spirit.”

The winners of the challenge will each receive a $5,000 cash prize.


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