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The Alpine Tavern in Gaylord has added a pair of igloos to its outdoor seating area in order to bring in more people to its already-popular patio during the colder months. The igloos are already being seen as a great way to draw in people from all over Northern Michigan and beyond. The venue offers a unique dining experience that takes advantage of Gaylord’s winter wonderland.

“The patio is a huge draw in the summer,” said Dave Jambor, general manager of the restaurant. “We wanted to share the outdoor experience in the wintertime and make this a year-round destination instead of just in the summertime.”

Alpine Tavern & Eatery has set up the two igloos on its side patio, taking in patrons and giving them a new way to enjoy their meals. People are already in love with the new addition.

Customers Hannah Huff and Nick Leech were kicking back after a week of work, enjoying some food and drinks as well as the ambiance of the domed enclosure protecting them from the elements on a chilly evening in Northern Michigan.

“It is cool. I really like it. I have never seen anything like it,” Leech said. “We’re just enjoying a drink in the igloo.”

“I love it here,” Huff agreed. “It is just like you are cooped up all day (at work) and it is nice to come outdoors.”

The domed structures are made of plastic and can each seat eight to 10 people. Both igloos are heated to protect users from the cold winter breeze. They also have Bluetooth speakers so visitors can play their music off their smartphones or other devices.

Jambor said that the igloos have proved to be popular. “We are getting great reviews,” he said. “People are excited about them. It is a fun, communal-type thing. It is cool and unique. It is meant to be good fun and an all-outdoor Gaylord experience.”

Jambor reminds guests that while the igloos are heated, they are still outdoors so they need to dress to be outside.

“My cousin lives in Grand Rapids and already found out about these,” Huff said. “This will make people want to come to our town.”

Alpine Tavern & Eatery is located at 220 S. Otsego Ave. in Gaylord. The two new igloo attractions are dubbed the Alpine Igloo Village. Reservations for the igloo experience are advised, especially on weekends when advance notice of a week or two is recommended.

The best part is that the igloos are completely free of charge to reserve. They are available in one-hour increments but people may stay longer if no one is booked in the next hour. The only cost is food and drink. The igloo offers a special menu that features appetizers, sandwiches, and other hand-held foods.

“It is not like sitting in the restaurant,” Jambor said. “It is finger food, passed around and sharable.”

Huff and Leech were enjoying sandwiches, but a “Brick o’ Fries,” among other items, was served to the patrons in the other igloo.

Alpine Tavern & Eatery is popular among snowmobilers and skiers because the patio features a fire pit where they can warm up and rest without having to get out of their gear. They can come in and warm up by the fire and get a snack or drink.

The general manager hinted at bigger things to come for the igloos. Alpine Tavern & Eatery is planning special nights for the igloos. So far, Wednesday evenings have been designated as “she-gloo” nights, which features chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne.

Jambor said more specials will be added in the future. Stay updated by checking Alpine Tavern’s website at alpinetavernandeatery.com.

You may also visit the restaurant’s Facebook page, facebook.com/Alpinetavern.

To make an igloo reservation or for more information, call (989) 732-5444.