PALMER LAKE — If you've tried outdoor dining in recent days, you know that Colorado's weather isn't exactly cooperating with restaurant owners. But one local restaurant is trying to make the most of it.
Thankfully, Thursday was been a beautiful sunny day, with lots of folks coming out to dine out and kick off their Christmas Eve.
O'Malley's has been around for 35 years. So, they've had to endure their share of windy and snowy days. But without dine-in as an option, it's been a tougher year than most.
So on a particularly snowy day, while they waited for customers to show up, they decided to make a holiday-themed music video to poke a little fun at what they're going through - but also make their case for why things need to change.
This is the holiday tune that's keeping the folks here at O'Malley's cheerful and hopeful this holiday season:
"Get a lot of laughs, for sure," said Jeff Hulsmann, the owner of O'Malley's Steak Pub.
It's a spin on a Christmas classic dubbed: The Realities of Outdoor Dining.
"It has a lot of silly words, it's just a parody," Hulsmann said. "But it drives home a point. We need to be back to dine-in."
The video has quickly racked up thousands of views on Facebook.
And even on a sunny day like today, it's not easy to forget that Colorado's weather always has plans of its own.
"It's colder up here and having an outdoor patio is nice," Hulsmann explained. "But as weather sets in, not a lot of people are willing to sit outside."
Although there are people that like are, like Deena Hartje who has been coming out for the past 11 years.
"We've all bundled up," she pointed out. "The wings are amazing, the staff is super fun and it's nice to support the local business," Hartje added.
Today is Hartje's birthday, and with her O'Malleys attire, she plans on keeping this restaurant a part of her cherished tradition.
"It's a great way to kick off Christmas and celebrate the birthday!" she said.
And as this clever music video continues to make its rounds, pointing out the struggle of the average small restaurant owner, the future is looking bright here at O'Malley's thanks to help from its loyal customers.
"Will O'Malley's survive? Yes." Hulsmann said.
"I thought [the video] was so cute and funny and i shared it all over my social media," Hartje said.
"Maybe it lands on the governor's desk. Who knows?" Hulsmann joked.
Hulsmann also explained that outdoor heaters are a big expense for his restaurant, and may not even help much on those bitterly cold days.
Since El Paso County is at a level red on the COVID dial, dine-in services are not allowed, but if we scaled back to level orange, indoor dining could return at a 25% capacity limit. But, of course, that all depends on the number of cases and hospitalizations we continue to see in the county.