Why We Love Our Outdoor Dining

There’s something special about outdoor dining; it changes the whole atmosphere of the meal. Al Fresco dining also has the power to change the atmosphere of our public spaces by giving them a feeling of security and inclusion. In fact, it is part of the overall goal of the Mansfield Rising Plan to create an accessible and welcoming environment for current and potential residents and visitors. Eateries that bring the inside out are part of this movement because they create welcoming environments that draw people in.

In 2020, outdoor dining has also become a comfort to people looking to eat out when they still aren’t ready to spend a long period of time indoors at a public place. So, whether that means eating at tables on the sidewalk, a patio, or on a deck with a view, we have a variety of outdoor dining options in Richland County.

One of our favorite parts of outdoor dining is live music. DLX | Dan Lew Exchange offers sidewalk seating with a picturesque view of downtown Mansfield’s central park. Live music is a staple at DLX. This flex-casual café serves lunch and dinner, with a varied rotation of daily specials. Watch their Facebook page for the next time they have live music on the patio. A few blocks away, Hudson & Essex now offers diners the chance to eat full-service lunch or dinner on their patio. Hudson & Essex is also home to Cypress Hill Winery, a boutique winery. Make sure to order one of their wines for a taste of the West Coast with your meal; all the wines are produced from California grapes. Find the summer lineup of live music on their Facebook page.

Patio deck with seating under bright red umbrellasWe love a meal with a view! The Cabin in Ashland, Ohio is a casual restaurant with a full-service bar. Open Monday through Saturday for dinner, the outdoor seating on the deck and patio offers beautiful views of the rural landscape and the nearby lake. These outdoor spaces are also available for rent for private events like company picnics, family reunions, and wedding receptions. The patio and deck of the log and timber clubhouse, Black Dog Tavern at Deer Ridge Golf Club, boasts a stunning view of the rolling hills of this Bellville, Ohio golf course. Bentley (the black dog) welcomes you to join him for a relaxing lunch or dinner whether you played a round of golf or not.

We love wine & ale “En Plein Air!” Located in historic downtown Ashland, Ohio, Uniontown Brewing Co. offers craft beer and delicious food in an urban atmosphere. Located in a historic furniture store that predates the Civil War, this full-service restaurant and brewery has seasonal patio seating and menus. Head to charming Bellville, Ohio to visit the Wishmaker House Winery & Wine Bar. The patio at Wishmaker House is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner while watching the bustle of small-town life pass you by. They pair their own wines, as well as wines from the world, with a seasonal menu focused on fresh, local ingredients.

The charming patio at 1285 Winery at the Blueberry Patch is covered with a rustic pergola and strings of lights to set the mood. Enjoy live music, house wines, and wood-fired pizzas around the open fireplace. The Happy Grape Wine Bar & Bistro in Lexington, Ohio features a sprawling mural on their patio. Choose from over 100 wines from around the world, or order a traditional cask ale from Laxton Hollow Brewing Works at this relaxed and fun wine bar where live music is featured weekly. In Galion, Ohio, you’ll find Fox Winery. Choose from over 29 wines and kick back with your friends. The secluded, intimate patio at Fox Winery frequently features live music. Food isn’t available on the premises, but several local favorites like Bistro 217 and East of Chicago pizza will deliver to the winery.

We love the break from the usual! In downtown Mansfield beside The Brickyard and near the pre-prohibition brewery district, you’ll find The Phoenix Brewing Company. The Phoenix, Mansfield’s only brewery and tasting room, was once a mortuary and funeral home. This patio pairs well with delicious eats from one of the rotating food trucks and an award-winning brew. Ask for a list of local restaurants that deliver to the brewery. For the wine-lovers, The Vault Wine Bar in Shelby, Ohio has outdoor dining in all seasons. In winter, you can reserve a heated igloo and dine on the patio while you watch the snow fall! The Vault offers more than 30 wines by the glass and over 150 more sold by the bottle. Craft beers are also available on tap and by the bottle. Look for live music and grilling on the patio to savor with your wine or beer flight during the summer months.

Why do we love patios so much? It’s hard not to love beautiful weather, dog-friendly dining, and the live music that comes with eating outdoors. Not only are they an added option to the dining landscape, but they foster a bustling atmosphere that improves the profile of our communities and reanimates our urban areas. So where are you eating and drinking first? Share your outdoor dining adventures with us by using the hashtag #DestinationMansfield when you share your photos online!