Image credit: Olive Garden & Peter Baker (Creative Commons)
When I wrote about drying clothes indoors, I was surprised to hear that some folks had considered opening the windows and cranking up the heat on the thermostat as a "green" method of clothes drying - even when you wouldn't otherwise need to heat your house. But they're not the only ones doing weird things out of season—tipster Ty tells us that his local Olive Garden in Colonial Heights, VA is running its fireplace , even though it's 100 degrees outside! (No word on whether it's a real wood, gas, or maybe ethanol fireplace) We'd love to know if this is going on elsewhere. Of course it goes without saying that an open fireplace is not much of a heating device at the best of times—you need a wood stove or even a pellet stove if you want any real heat. In a restaurant setting it is almost certainly more about aesthetics and atmosphere than it is about any kind of warmth. Nevertheless, who wants to even look at a fire when it's 100 degrees outside? Just like the idea that leaving your doors open and your AC running is good for business, I can't help wondering if, or at least hoping that, an increasingly energy conscious public will be more turned off than attracted by such profligate waste.
We'd love to hear from our readers if you've spotted other restaurants doing the same thing. It just seems plain weird to me.