One of the most popular cocktail decks in the Crossroads -- at Hamburger Mary's -- has been closed for nearly two weeks, according to general manager Jeff Edmondson: "You can't have drunk people up there in this weather. They'll get heat stroke," he says. "And that deck makes up a significant part of our business. We recently installed a new air-conditioning unit for our first-floor main dining room, and that's holding up very well. But the lounge on the north side, with all those windows, can still get a little hot."
The oppressive heat has taken its greatest toll on outdoor patios: Ryan Maybee of the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange says no one really wants to sit at his outdoor tables until after the sun goes down and the east-facing patio cools off.
Kevin Timmons, co-owner of the Nick & Jake's and Will Jenny's restaurants, says the July heat wave has hurt his patio business (and the Parkville Nick & Jake's has a new patio this year), but it has also hurt the patio and deck activity at private homes, too.
"People who like to grill out or entertain on their own outdoor patio or deck," Timmons says, "are, instead, coming in to our restaurants to eat in the comfort of air conditioning. Business is up in all three of our restaurants, and traditionally, July and August are slow months."
Anthony Spino, of Anthony's on Grand, says the summer months are hardest on his kitchen staff: "We have an old-school kitchen," Spino says. "It gets hot back there. But, no, our regulars have been faithful. They come in no matter what the weather is like."
Richard Ng, co-owner of the six Bo Lings restaurants, says the heat has actually been good for his business: "People don't want to cook in this heat, so our carryout business has gone through the roof."