NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Connecticut, restaurants have been some of the hardest-hit businesses.

With colder temperatures leading to an increase in cases, local eateries are working to make sure they can keep customers safe through the winter.

"Maybe it's going to drag on for another year or so, so we've got to adapt to the new changes, and try to survive,” said Michael Milios, owner of Mykonos Mediterranean Restaurant in Newington.

That means using tents, outdoor heaters, and even igloos as alternatives to the traditional dine-in experience.

“People still want to be outside, so we're still trying to give them that safety net of being outside, but still being covered, and not worried about the winter,” said Eli Cannon’s Executive Chef Edward.

It's early, but the returns so far on investments look to be positive.

All the tents and the outdoor heating were expected to be a temporary solution to deal with the cold.

But after such positive reviews from customers, places like Eli Cannon's are now thinking that they're going to be a part of the long-term future.

While nobody is happy that the pandemic is still happening, it’s forced restaurants to reinvent themselves, which is not always a bad thing.

"Oh yeah, they're always noticing the changes. And they're pretty happy with us because we're always trying to do whatever's best,” Milios said.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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