22 | YAMHILL VALLEY VISITOR GUIDE | 2021/2022 Fresh Air, Fresh Food Valley restaurants o er diners outside seating BY LINDSEY BURNS L ast year, McMinnville Downtown Association organized its rst Dine Out(Side) in response to COVID regulations. “ e vision initially was big. I mean, we didn’t look at this as just a partial block. We looked at it as four consecutive blocks,” said Dave Rucklos, execu- tive director of the McMin- nville Downtown Asso- ciation. “And I think that’s what makes it so special and di erent. I’ve seen these kinds of things in other communities, particularly in Portland, but you really don’t see it where it actually takes an entire street, closes it down and allows you to dine outside.” Last year, there were 22 participants in Dine Out(Side), each with at least two tables to as many as 20. is year, they plan to expand the set up by another block and increase the participants to 29. “We’re also looking into augmenting it with some things like music,” Rucklos commented. Outside McMinnville, more restaurants have ex- panded their outdoor seat- ing individually. Ruddick/ Wood in Newberg has had regular outdoor seating for several years, but they didn’t put up a covering until 2020. “I think every restaurant in the area and across to Washington (state) closed at the same time, so a lot of people were buying tents,” said owner Paul Losch. “For a long time, [the tents] were all [sold out] or the prices were through the roof.” Dario Pisoni, owner of Rosmarino, also in New- berg, encountered a similar problem. But now both restaurants have tents and heaters, as well as plans to install a more permanent covering. “It was always in our plan before COVID to put a permanent structure over the outdoor seating area and have it completely TOP: Diners enjoy outdoor dining at Red Hills Kitchen in McMinnville. ABOVE: A masked server at Bistro Maison in McMinnville delivers entrées to a couple sitting on the elegant porch located around the corner from the patio. DINE PHOTO BY MARCUS LARSON PHOTO BY MARCUS LARSON