Pop-up dining pods provide COVID solution for Melbourne restaurants
Melbourne restaurants and cafes are expecting to spend up to $100,000 to get back to serving meals via pop-up outdoor dining pods.
With scope for lighting, shade awnings, heating, cooling, and even double-storey designs, the wall-free hubs are being considered by dozens of businesses in the CBD and inner suburbs — many now seeking approvals from local government.
Temporary building group Spacecube would ordinarily be installing marquees for the spring racing carnival’s iconic Birdcage at this time of year, but is instead planning a rapid rollout to get the city’s diners back at the table.
The $15,000 basic prefabricated pod is designed to be used on a pavement or in a carpark in line with the third step of the stage four lockdown recovery road map — expected to take effect on October 19.
One restaurant operator, who asked not to be named, told the Herald Sun they would spend close to $100,000 to get back up and running with outdoor dining spaces over the next six months.
Developer and property owner Mirvac is also working to get punters back in seats for three of its Riverside Quay, Southbank tenants who operate restaurants.
“By creating a custom outdoor dining experience which allows for social distancing, Mirvac will support its tenants in a way that reflects the premium nature of Riverside Quay and, most importantly, protects and minimises the risk to the community,” said Mirvac commercial property general manager for strategy and customer Paul Edwards.
Spacecube chief executive Mark Davies says some businesses are looking at one 6m x 2.4m pod, others are looking at up to 20 of them, with high interest from businesses along the Yarra River in Southbank and the laneways of the CBD.
“Understanding the financial pressures on restaurateurs, as well as cafe, pub and bar operators, due to COVID-19, we are in active discussions with state government, local councils, as well as landlords, to see how a solution like this could revitalise communities around Victoria,” Davies says.
“And we have committed to as rapid a deployment as possible. Once we have a green light we will have them installed within the week, some within 24 hours.”
Spacecube has also helped Melbourne fight the COVID-19 pandemic, providing carpark testing centres for medical centres.
This article from the Herald Sun originally appeared as “Pop-up dining pods to hit Melbourne hospitality scene”.