Pandemic Life: Looking for some outdoor dining options? Here is a newcomer at a familiar spot (Shrimp Boat), our favorite (Sam’s Burger-Deli) and one of the region’s top dining destination, Appalachian Grill.

Pandemic Life: Looking for some outdoor dining options? Here is a newcomer at a familiar spot (Shrimp Boat), our favorite (Sam’s Burger-Deli) and one of the region’s top dining destination, Appalachian Grill.


Outdoor dining now an option at The Shrimp Boat on Second Avenue in Rome. Below: A view from the side looking toward downtown. Hometown photos.

During the first wave of the pademic, many restaurants turned to to-go orders to survive. As restrictions were rolled back, restaurants saw a surge in diners asking for outdoor options. Even Yelp! features a “filter” for outdoor dining.

With the delta surge continuing, COVID-conscious patrons are again requesting outdoor tables whlie some just never went back inside, even in the hotter summer months. Restaurant owners have added, expanded or upgraded outdoor space to meet the demand and we hope many of them are permanent additions.

Below are seven options in Rome and Cartersville. We’ve been to six of the seven and recommend them all. Our latest go-to is Sam’s Burger-Deli in Armuchee, so much so that on a recent Rome Radio Retirees Reunion luncheon, all two of us dined there and we returned that night for dinner.

A note: Each establishment continues to off full-service dining inside as well.

The Shrimp Boat adds front porch: Earlier this year, as the Rome restaurant duo of Jeremy Duke and Tyson Dube bought The Shrimp Boat, the big news was adding a permit to sell beer with your shrimp or livers. What some didn’t see coming with the upgrades to the restaurant at 402 E. Second Ave. that includes the addition of a large covered outdoor dining area (otherwise known as a front porch). That’s in addition to new exterior paint. In recent days, we’ve seen a good crowd choosing outside dining. Building records show the project cost $14,100.

Since opening day more than four years ago, Moe’s Original Barbecue at Bridgepoint Plaza has offered outdoor dining in addition to the dining room, bar and special events room. Hometown photo.


Moe’s Original Barbecue — porch with a view: Duke and Dube also are behind Moe’s at Bridgepoint Plaza, including a spacious porch that overlooks the park and trail to the pedestrian bridge. Complete with fans, the porch offers a great outdoor experience and the customer service there continues to be just as nice as what you get indoors.

Sam’s Burger-Deli is better known for owner Sam Edwards’ continuing tribute to area veterans as their photos line the exterior walls as well as those funky jet and VW bus add-ons. But he’s also expanded the outdoor dining area, creating not just a great place for lunch or dinner but a spot to think about for larger, safer events, too. Below: There even are fans over the under-the-trees seating. Hometown photos.


Sam’s Burger-Deli on Martha Berry in Armuchee. This has become a go-to for us — the gorgeous porch Sam Edwards and crew have extended on the southside of the Martha Berry landmark. It addition to plenty of room, it is filled with ceiling fans as well.  It is among the more relaxing spots for lunch or dinner we’ve found. There’s even a sidewalk to a spot under a big oak tree — complete with fans.

The extended outdoor dining options added to Appalachian Grill last fall. Hometown archive.


Appalachian Grill in Cartersville: It has been a destination spot for dining for years but last fall, Jackie Wallace and crew kicked it up a bit when they extended the streetside dining under the bridge. Drinks, a burger, perhaps Northwest Georgia’s best salad or the signature Appalachian Grill entree, it all tastes just as good outside.

Great synergy between the two River District restaurants. Facebook photo.


Blossom Hill BBQ & Burgers/Aventine: Kevin Dillmon’s double play off West Third in the River District back up to one another and feature an expansive options for dining outdoors at both — as well as a play area with a putting green and bag toss.


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