Coronavirus: Amsterdam art center uses greenhouses to offer outdoor dining amid COVID-19 pandemic


It’s a dilemma restaurateurs have been thinking about: how to reopen diners and stay safe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A place in Amsterdam thinks it might have found a solution.

Mediamatic Biotoop, an art center in the Dutch city, is putting diners outside in small greenhouses to meet social distancing guidelines.

The small greenhouses were built as an art project. But now they have become private dining rooms.

Wait staff wear protective gear and serve food on long wooden boards. Greenhouses can contain a maximum of two people.

Willem Velthoven, director of the art center, said the COVID-19 crisis had forced restaurants to “rethink hospitality.”

“Being in large groups together will probably be out of style for a while, but still getting into a social situation and really enjoying things together is something we long for even more,” Velthoven said.

The center held a test event earlier this month and is planning to use the greenhouses again on May 21 and June 27.

“In these times we are inspired by pollution precautions and the redesign of the union,” says the event’s propaganda.

“Our greenhouses protect you from the outdoors and others while offering you a unique intimate dining experience.”