Photo courtesy of North Park Lounge.

Business is blooming at North Park Lounge in McCandless thanks to eight little greenhouses.

In mid-September, owner Mark Baranowski bought and erected the structures in front of the restaurant at 8701 Babcock Blvd., giving customers a chance to dine-in while enjoying the great outdoors.

Each 48-square-foot, polycarbonate, steel and aluminum greenhouse has a space heater and can comfortably fit four people. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each one is sprayed with disinfectant after each party leaves.

Before Covid, the indoor seating capacity at North Park Lounge was 240. Now it’s about 100 indoors, where a new air filtration system was recently installed. There are 80 seats outside surrounded by heaters. In addition to the greenhouses, North Park Lounge boasts a covered patio, four large, outdoor tents and several canopied glider tables.

Photo courtesy of North Park Lounge.

“At the start of the pandemic, I had a feeling that outdoor seating would be important, so I tried to buy as many tents as I could find,” says Baranowski, who also runs North Park Lounge locations in Lawrenceville and Murrysville. “Outdoor dining kind of carried us this summer.”

With cold, inclement weather moving in, he knew he had to heat things up to keep patrons happy. Twinkle lights strung around the greenhouses give the area the feel of a whimsical village.

“They’re a big hit,” Baranowski says. “More people want to be in there and in the tents.”

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.