Heated outdoor stands coming to downtown Northville to help shops and restaurants weather winter

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COURTESY OF NORTHVILLE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
  • Courtesy of Northville Downtown Development Authority

While many restaurants are expanding their dining experiences to heated outdoor tents, igloos, and yurts as a way to stay safe and continue doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic, Northville is going a bit further to ensure its downtown businesses survive and celebrate winter.

A partnership between the Northville Downtown Development Authority and Up2Go owner Manfred Schon will result in “Heat in the Street,” a project that will allow local businesses to service customers via vendor walk-up stands and dining pods equipped with high-top tables. Many will be located near where restaurants are plotting their outdoor dining solutions.



COURTESY OF NORTHVILLE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
  • Courtesy of Northville Downtown Development Authority

According to MLive, the buildout may be completed in the next few weeks and will be open through March. Dining pods will be offered during the week from noon-10 p.m., while vendor stands will be open Friday-Sunday between noon and 10 p.m.

The concept for the functionality of the stands and pods is inspired by Schon's German background.



“He grew up with these outdoor markets and structures which took a different approach to winter, which is just embracing it instead of keeping it out,” director of the Northville Downtown Development Authority Lori Ward told MLive. “He kind of pitched this idea to me of celebrating winter and the outdoors.”

Ward also says most of downtown Northville's restaurants are already planning on converting their outdoor dining patios and areas into covered structures. With the addition of the Heat in the Street, Northville's shopping and dining district will be made more accessible to the public.

“Our local restaurants will be able to serve a variety of different food at the stands. The pods will allow people to kind of embrace downtown and the cold weather,” Ward said. “We have lots of support from the restaurants who are on board to make sure the stands are always occupied with something good.”

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