Yurts: A Creative Option for Restaurant Patios

a yurt converted into a bar serving customers

Yurts are a great way to increase a restaurant’s income during the winter.

While yurt dining isn’t a new concept per se, it has become more popular over the years.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has spurred the need for creative alternatives when it comes to restaurant dining. Yurts are a unique, fun and highly creative way to take advantage of patios or other space on a property and turn it into patio dining that can be used virtually year-round.

Yurts as Restaurant Patios in Switzerland

yurt on restaurant patioOur yurt careers started in Switzerland.

It was in Switzerland that we saw our first yurt installs in hotels or on restaurant patios in winter, particularly in ski resorts.

These were meant as an attraction or après-ski and became quickly popular for the felted and exotic ambience they brought in the midst of the Alps.

Yurt Patio at a Toronto Irish Pub

people dining in yurt restaurant patioBut it is really in Canada that Patrick “Shucker Paddy” McMurray launched a more serious trend in his little Irish pub on Queen Street east in Toronto.

The Ceili Cottage was a small pub with lots of character and a large patio. Come winter it lost pretty much half its seating and Shucker Paddy tried many ways to bring people to use this “lost” space. Hockey rink, curling, gas heaters… nothing really did it until he thought of renting a yurt.

people dining in yurt restaurant patioA rental was preferred as he wasn’t sure of the outcome.

Well… two weeks later the yurt was already such a success that it had been paid for and prebooked every night of the week. Patrick’s perseverance to have the yurt approved by the city and the simple set-up with tables around the perimeter and a cool vinyl turntable in the centre did the trick.

The Ceili Cottage has now moved, but Patrick still offers consulting for restaurant, hotels or golf courses who consider the yurt option: shuckerpaddy@yahoo.ca .

Yurts on Restaurant Patios Across Canada

Other examples of yurt patios quickly followed at restaurants and hotels across Canada.

SAT on a rooftop in Montreal.

people dining in yurt restaurant patioOlio Too in Bracebridge, Ontario.

At Biscotti In Gatineau.

From spas in Quebec, Ontario or Manitoba, to vineyards and lately in breweries in Ontario, yurts have become a popular phenomenon for restaurant patio alternatives.

Our Yurt Patio Setup at Groovy Yurts

Our coup de Coeur has just been opened in our hometown or Alexandria at the Buvette du Marché where you can rent a 12’ yurt and socially distance with your bubble while having a few drinks and fabulous tapas.

people dining in yurt restaurant patio yurt restaurant patio in winter people dining in yurt restaurant patio yurt restaurant patio in winter people dining in yurt restaurant patio yurt restaurant patio yurt restaurant patio in city