Many of us have a passion for dining outdoors on a warm evening.
Sometimes we want the crowded atmosphere of a hip spot. Other times, we like the quietness of only a few people enjoying dinner on a sidewalk or in a courtyard.
Large patios that are great for people-watching include Atomic Café, Cheapside, Malone's, Merrick Inn, Murrays and the new patio at The Dish.
The Dish's owner, Trish Tungate, has expanded the patio on South Ashland Avenue to "bring a big city/modern feel to our historic area of Chevy Chase. We are adding a pergola and extra patio seating that will seat about 60 to 70 people and have some extra space to allow for some great local live music also," she said. The patio also has an herb and small vegetable garden.
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Saul Good Restaurant & Pub's new spot in Hamburg "feels like a garden patio," owner Rob Perez said. "Because the patio is covered, the sun is never too bright or hot."
On cool nights, there are heaters for warmth and a fireplace for atmosphere.
The Julep Cup downtown has a covered patio that's in the shade most of the day, "keeping it naturally cool," owner Carol Brooks said. "It sits back from the street with a beautiful water fountain, which subdues the sound of traffic. Lunch and happy hour are the most popular times, although neighbors gather late at night because it is a very relaxed meeting place."
Wallace Station in Woodford County is ideal for escaping city noise. Guests have a choice of dining on the deck or on the lawn at the country place at 3854 Old Frankfort Pike. There's a nice view of the countryside. It's most popular from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The patio at Duggans, in Midway, is an extension of the dining room, which has wide French doors that open onto the outdoor area. The roses are in full bloom, and with an attentive host, one guest referred to a recent dining experience on the patio as "lovely."