Use of a Walkerville restaurant’s outdoor patio domes has been suspended by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit after realization they don’t comply with proper protocol.

The “dining domes” for igloo dining were erected in October as a way to combat cold weather and COVID-19 restrictions.

“A different experience with these difficult times,” said Vito’s Pizzeria manager Marco Maggio. “We want to get people in and give them something unique.”

Maggio says the domes gave customers a different eating option, admitting some people are reluctant to come inside.

“This was a different avenue to keep people outside because some people don’t feel safe coming back in, so we’re trying to give people a safe awesome experience,” he said. “This was just another way to keep people outside the whole time and keep things rolling.”

WECHU issued an email statement to CTV News saying they were not contacted by any premises in Windsor and Essex County prior to the attempted use of patio domes or igloos, and that the devices do not comply with their outdoor dining rules.

“They do not permit sufficient airflow, and there are also fire safety codes and local bylaws to consider,” the email stated. “We recommend that food premise owners and operators contact our Environmental Health department to discuss any new technology, builds, or installations prior to their use in the future.”

Maggio says the patio domes will stay standing albeit empty for now, while other options are explored.

“We still have them, we’re just going to keep them out here,” he said. “No one is going to be going in them but we’ll have them to look at I guess.”