When Yunus Yıldız built the igloo-like booths in the courtyard of his cafe last year, his purpose was to keep his customers warm during the harsh winters of Sivas, a central Turkish province. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Turkey in March, his patented design found another use as a safe, socially distanced space for customers to enjoy alone or with loved away from the virus.
Unlike other venues where maintaining social distancing can prove difficult due to the proximity of tables, the cafe provides a reprieve for customers, who are separated from each other in the glass bubbles. The large space within the bubble is enough to comfortably seat a couple of customers at a time without risking close proximity.
Yıldız told Demirören News Agency (DHA) on Tuesday that his design garnered great attention with people and business owners contacting him from across Turkey to find out how they too can have the bubbles in their restaurants and cafes. “We have seen rising interest in our cafe during the pandemic. This is a place where you can spend time with your family without fearing the risk of infection. Every bubble is disinfected after each customer,” he said.
Cihat Emre Toprak, a customer, said he liked the venue, which he described as “sterile.” “It gives you personal space where you don’t have to mingle with others. Also the service and menu are good,” he said.