Lila’s Kitchen Envisions a New Type of Dining with Outdoor Structures from WeatherPort

Lila’s Kitchen is a commercial kitchen space that food vendors without a space of their own can rent and use. With two walk-up windows and the capacity for two vendors to operate simultaneously; Lila’s Kitchen benefits both the residents and restaurants of Port Townsend alike.

As with all restaurants right now, you’re probably wondering: How have they fared during the pandemic?

Lila’s Kitchen actually opened their doors during the pandemic, as a new business in the summer of 2020. But this should come as no surprise, considering how well tailored their business model is to the dining requirements of a COVID and post-COVID world.

For example, the ample open space surrounding Lila’s Kitchen provides the perfect area for outdoor seating, giving people who are itching to get out of their homes a safe space in which to enjoy delicious food and each other’s company.

On the other hand, restaurants that don’t have an outdoor seating area can utilize Lila’s Kitchen rather than having to close or rely on revenue from curbside pickup orders alone.

Of course, both of these benefits were contingent upon having a nice outdoor seating area available to customers, with coverage to protect against the damp and chilly Port Townsend winters.

Lila’s Kitchen owners Wendy and Brent Davis were well aware of this need and set out to look for a reliable outdoor structure that would last longer than typical popup tents.

Luckily, they didn’t have to look far: Brent happened to have numerous friends who worked as contractors, and they all recommended WeatherPort as the only product that met their requirements on job sites.

After these initial recommendations, WeatherPort’s customer service and the aesthetics of WeatherPort structures sealed the deal.

Wendy explained that their WeatherPort was “pretty simple to design”: “My husband picked the shape and then we determined what size we could fit in the area where we wanted it. We picked colors and panels with the direction and help of our WeatherPort rep.”

Wendy found it helpful that her WeatherPort representative sent drawings and images of the specific fabric buildings, as well as a model. “I really needed to see real ones set up somewhere, not just sketches or photographs,” Wendy explained.

In the end, Wendy and Brent decided on a red 30-foot hexapae (a six-sided canopy). The canopy with clear, zip-down windows matches the red umbrellas they already. This size enables them to fit six outdoor tables and around 35 to 40 people in the structure.

Their hexapae arrived about five weeks after they placed their order, and it was time to set it up. With a team of four, the installation process took about two hours. “We set it up practically in a wind storm and decided, ‘If it survives today, it will do pretty well.”

Lila’s Kitchen has now had its WeatherPort dining structure up for about three weeks, and it’s holding up well. “We have bad weather all the time,” Wendy explained. “It’s solid — it doesn’t move, doesn’t squeak, doesn’t flap. It has been rained on, snowed on, lots of wind — it just sits there and does what it’s supposed to do — shelter.”

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