Alvantor Bubble Tent - NEWS8000 Report

4 Sisters restaurant in La Crosse adds outdoor bubble dining

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – The clock is ticking to enjoy a meal in these unseasonably warm temperatures.

“We’ve been doing some reading and wanted to enjoy and outside day in this beautiful weather,” 4 Sisters customer Claudia Melby said.

Melby and her book club friends ended up choosing 4 Sisters right in the heart of downtown.

“And so we saw the bubbles, and thought let’s try the bubbles,” Melby said.

It seems as though it’s given them a taste of satisfaction.

“Oh yeah, this was fine,” Melby said. “This was great.”

With the outdoor cafe program ending soon, 4 Sisters added four bubble tents to their outside dining option a few weeks ago.

“It’s tough for any business to survive on 25 or 50 percent (capacity),” general manager Tanner Happe said. “We had to figure out different ways to innovate to get people out here and get people out here safely.”

And it’s been calling attention to customers.

“We’ve done around 40 reservations so far,” Happe said.

Happe says the only complaint about the bubbles right now is the size of the bubble tents.

“(It) would be that they’re bigger so that they could fit more than four people,” Happe said. “But I can’t really help that.”

They can also withstand a lot.

“You can dine in these no matter how cold it is, rain or shine, snow,” Happe said. “We got heaters, blankets. It’s kind of like a little apartment almost in there.”

And each bubble tent costs only around $500 a piece.

“I mean, it is an investment,” Happe said. “But, I believe that they will pay off.”

Melby will attest to that, even if it’s 25 degrees outside.

“That would not faze me at all. I’m from Wisconsin,” Melby said.

Happe says depending on how it goes, he is considering adding more bubble tents in the future.

The bubble tents are only available through a reservation.

In a partnership with Rotary Lights, anyone who reserves a spot in the bubble and brings five non-perishable food items, will get $5 off their next meal.