- The Washington Times - Monday, December 10, 2001

Winter in Washington is starting to look a little like spring in Paris especially around the District's sidewalk cafes, where patrons have been flocking to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.
The nice weather, proprietors say, has helped mitigate the slowdown that has dogged D.C. restaurants after September 11.
"We've suffered a little bit, but by being open on the outside, it has counterbalanced it, and it has kept my business at a relatively stable amount," said George Mallios, owner of Trio's Fox and Hounds Restaurant and Bar on the corner of 17th and Q streets NW. Both have outdoor seating, and most nights in the last couple weeks, they were filled to capacity.
Mr. Mallios, whose family has owned the restaurant since 1950, said he usually closes the outdoor section by mid-October. However, the nice weather, as well as the standing heaters he installed this year, have ensured the outdoor section remains open this time round. The profits from this area, which he classified as "nonexistent" in a more typical November-December period, now are helping significantly.
The story is the same down the street at the Dupont Italian Kitchen, on the corner of 17th and R streets. Business has been steady the past few weeks, with most people preferring to sit outside.
"Nobody [usually] sits outside this late because it is cold, but with weather like this, it has definitely helped our business," said owner and manager Michael Askarinam. They normally close shop outside around September, but like Mr. Mallios, Mr. Askarinam has installed heating lamps. He said his business is down only about 15 percent, which he attributes to the loss of tourists who are staying away from the capital.
At Bua, a Thai restaurant on P Street, more local people are coming out.
"This time of year is not notoriously busy, but everyone keeps saying this is the last day of nice weather, so our patio has been packed," said manager Chai Norchoovech.
Average highs in the District this time of year are around 50 degrees, but last week, the city basked in blue skies and temperatures in the 70s.
Eric Angelus, a Dupont Circle resident, said he makes a regular stop at the Java House on Q Street NW when the weather is nice.
"I have never seen it this warm this late," he said. "If it were any colder, I would have stopped coming."
It's a sentiment shared by James Herr, a firefighter living in the District. Mr. Herr and a friend took in a late lunch some days back at Trio's restaurant. "It's beautiful … but if the weather were not this nice, I would just bring my own lunch," he said.

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