DOWNTOWN MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- As COVID cases continue to rise in the Yellowhammer State, many people are opting to eat outside, but our first taste of winter this week could be a downside for some restaurants.

The Cheese Cottage in Downtown Mobile has entirely outdoor seating. With the first cold snap of the year this week they hope their heaters are enough to keep business steady and people warm.

“Normally people would hangout longer or we would have a little bit bigger crowd, but last night being the first time, it was really cold I think people did kind of stay in yesterday,” said Michelle Baxter, Manager at The Cheese Cottage.

Cheese Cottage

The Port City was hit with a chilly change this week as temperatures dipped below freezing. For some, that is a welcome relief.

“I’m a fan of the cold,” said Mikala Hart. “I was born and raised in Florida so it’s nice to have a change in the weather.”

For months, outdoor dining has been very popular because of the pandemic, now with the dip in degrees restaurants like Cheese Cottage on St. Louis Street are making sure their heaters and fire pits are fired up.

Being a primarily outdoor dining spot, Baxter hopes people get used to the cooldown and continue to support local businesses hit hard by COVID.

“I definitely see a drop in the attendance when we have bad weather, but the fact that we had outdoor seating we had a lot of people come here because they feel safe,” she said.

With the chilly air forecasted to stay with us, some say it is not going to deter them.

“I do like to eat outside when the weather is nice if I have the opportunity to,” Hart said.

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