Theft of heaters freezes out patio season for Kingston’s Amadeus Cafe

An empty bracket shows where a heater had been mounted in the Biergarten at Amadeus Cafe on Princess Street in downtown Kingston. Photo via Amadeus Cafe..

Just as pandemic restrictions have eased and diners are starting to enjoy meals out at local restaurants, one downtown Kingston eatery has been forced to reduce its number of tables following the theft of its outdoor heaters.

Amadeus Cafe is a local Kingston restaurant serving authentic German and Austrian family recipes, and has been in business for over 30 years. 

Last year, during fall, the cafe installed heaters to have outdoor dining facilities even during cooler months aiming to prolong patio season particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant’s beloved, tucked away patio — the Biergarten — is removed from the bustle of Princess Street and located behind Amadeus, just off of the Robert Bruce Municipal Parking Lot. Unfortunately, on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, someone stole the patio heaters, prompting the cafe to announce that they would be closing the Biergarten over dinner service until next year. The theft also occurred just as Amadeus was kicking off its annual Oktoberfest festivities.

“When we came in yesterday (Thursday) morning, I noticed they were gone. I imagine they brought some tools and a ladder along to get them down,” said Brian Breitwieser, owner of Amadeus Cafe.

The heaters in the Biergarten at Amadeus Cafe prior to their theft on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021. Photo via Amadeus Cafe.

The demand for outdoor seating has increased during the pandemic, as many people find it safer to sit outside than indoors while choosing restaurants. As the temperature drops, the need for warmer outdoor seating is essential to many food and beverage industry businesses, and preferred by many of their guests, Breitwieser expressed.

“The heaters were just starting to get used this year with the cooler nights. Now, it looks like we will be forced to close the patio over dinner service, as it is much too cool to dine outside in the evening,” he added.

“A real shame.”

Breitwieser said he is planning to get new heaters in the spring of 2022, and is currently planning out a more secure way to install them.

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