Social distancing doesn't work for businesses who rely on people to be social

For some Lafayette breweries, carryout and delivery orders are keeping them afloat. For others, it's simply not working.

Posted: Mar 20, 2020 12:24 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2020 12:27 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — It's been a tough few days for Lafayette restaurant and bar owners. Small businesses are beginning to see the effects of the state's in-person closure due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For some, carryout and delivery orders are keeping them afloat. For others, it's simply not working.

An empty bar at Lafayette Brewing Company amid COVID-19 outbreak

"We hang our hat on people getting together every day," said People's Brewing Company Owner Chris Johnson. "Social distancing is about the worst thing thing you can do for the bar, restaurant and the beer business."

About 40-percent of the overall sales at People's Brewing Company are generated in the taproom. Like others, they're still allowing carryout and delivery services.

"We've been checking IDs through the front window of your door, said Johnson. "We can do basically a no-physical contact delivery."

Breweries have other rules to follow as well.

"We can do in the taproom, at your door, but technically we can't do in the parking lot," said Johnson.

Over at Lafayette Brewing Company the barstools are gone and the taproom sits empty. Typically their brewpub would be full with a crowd around lunchtime.

"It's horrible to let our staff go and tell them we don't have any work for them," said owner Greg Emig. "We've been doing this for 27 years and couldn't ever really anticipate something like this."

Right now LBC is offering carryout food and beer, but that will change Saturday. Like many small businesses, they realized keeping their doors open wasn't financially possible when chairs are on tables.

"It really wasn't worth continuing to put our staff at risk as things change as I said daily, hourly, sometimes by the minute," said Emig. "We are just trying to stop the bleeding. We are just crushed."

Here are the other services breweries in Greater Lafayette are offering:

Brokerage (West Lafayette): Online ordering, Carryout/delivery (delivery within a certain range), limited hours

Crasian (Brookston): Phone ordering, Carryout/delivery (delivery within a certain range), merch discount, limited hours

Teays (Lafayette): Online ordering, Carryout/delivery (delivery within a certain range)

Thieme and Wagner (Lafayette): Phone ordering, Carryout/delivery (delivery within a certain range)

Escape Velocity (Lafayette): Going through final inspections now, Should be open by the end of the month for carryout beer/vegetarian food 

Backstep (Crawfordsville): Carryout growlers, limited hours

Kopacetic (Monticello): Carryout, limited hours

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