On Thursday, March 19, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued an executive order to temporarily suspend non-essential services such as salons, spas, and tattoo parlors statewide. The same mandate extends the closure of all food & beverage industries postponing in-house dining for restaurants and bars, even more so, until Monday, April 30.
However, on Friday, March 20, Polis wisely opts to soften typical alcohol stipulations allowing businesses providing takeout/delivery the ability to sell booze right out the front door.
The Wobbly Olive in Colorado Springs, has been producing at-home mixology kits, sans spirits, prior to the announcement and now indulges us with a list of libations for curbside pickup/to-go from 4-9 p.m. daily.
“We’re offering all of our specialty martinis, old-fashioneds, bottled beer and wine,” says Sean Fitzgerald, co-owner of The Wobbly Olive. “We have been personally working nonstop and with this change, if we see $180 in extra sales everyday, I can employ two front of the house people.”
Colorado distilleries and breweries are also exploring alternatives attempting to stay connected with their patrons through online happy hour initiatives. Distillery 291 hosts a #virtual291tastingroom posting live video content multiple times a day, promoting a select #291quarantinecocktail and sharing live performances at 5 p.m. courtesy of local talent with “291 family popping in to share stories and whiskey.”
“We just want to focus on keeping spirits positive, a little levity. ” says Michael Myers, founder of Distillery 291. “We’re trying to entertain the best we can and there’s a lot of laughter that goes on here that people don’t see unless they come in so, we thought if we could engage our community that would be great and support our musicians.”
291 also plans to provide to-go cocktails direct from the distillery and Myers says they’re “gearing up to put pre-batched beverages in 100, 375 and 750 mL bottles, with garnishes, to-go.”
Additionally, brand ambassadors, are currently working on virtual whiskey tastings and weekend distillery tours available on the 291 YouTube channel with intimate behind the scenes footage that features the distillers themselves.
According to the Business Insider, as of Thursday, March 19, the U.S. has confirmed over 14,000 cases of CO-VID 19 with many prominent foodie cities such as New York and Los Angeles already putting more stringent rules in place to prevent further contamination. During these difficult times the only thing we can be sure of is that it’s hard to guess what will happen next for all elective industries and what the state of Colorado will deem appropriate in the coming weeks.
“I don’t disagree with the steps the government has taken,” says Fitzgerald. “And if they shut us down completely, I agree with that too. It’s a neat opportunity for us as a community, a city and even a nation to come together and be united.”
*Header image courtesy of The Wobbly Olive