Manatee Island: Stuart restaurant prepares for cold weather, expects fewer customers

Posted at 11:49 PM, Mar 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 23:50:10-04

Treasure Coast restaurant owners made adjustments Wednesday night to keep their customers warm as temperatures were expected to drop into the 30s and 40s.

They want to make sure cold temperatures do not impact their bottom line, especially those restaurants that have outside seating and bar areas.

Paul Gonnella has mastered the art of adjusting to the weather.

He owns Manatee Island Bar and Grill in Port Salerno.

Wednesday, he closed the sliders of his waterfront business and put space heaters in the outside areas.

Still, he knows fewer customers will show up.

For just one night, a smaller crowd due to the weather won't hurt business.

Being on the water, he deals with weather year-round.

He also makes adjustments when the weather is too hot to attract customers, or when rain threatens his earnings.

“We expect it, the local crowd expects it. And if you go around town, more so than anywhere, on the waterfront we’re weather dependent down here. But we do our best to keep it warm," Gonnella said.

Fortunately, for him, many of his regular customers are from the north. Compared to the blizzard conditions their hometowns faced this week, the 30s is a welcomed, temporary drop.

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