Like most of you, I have missed eating out in brewpubs and uncertain when I would feel comfortable to give it a try once again. Finding myself in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with my family and knowing what a quality operation Rich and Wendy Tucciarone run at Mountain Tap Brewery (MTB), I knew they could pull off a great safe solution and they did. Here are some of Tooch’s thoughts on MTB re-opening.
“Everything we’ve built has been around community and gathering which is pretty tough to do these days!! We really spent a lot of time – well, we had 2 months of shut down/takeout only that was painfully slooooooow to really try to put some thought into what options for re-opening could look like so we were ready to execute the plan once we got the green light to re-open and keep as much of the feel/vibe as we could. For starters, we do “air fives” & “air hugs” now at 6’ distance instead of actual high fives & hugs with staff.”
“We have open floorplan at Mountain Tap along with high ceilings and lots of outdoor seating so that is definitely a plus and helps us operate and keep staff/guests safe because we are only allowed to have ~30 people inside under current regs which is working with our summer configuration but certainly not sustainable long term and has us very concerned about winter ops!”
“The city has been very good to work with by allowing us to expand our outdoor seating into what used to be parking stalls. This area is now known as the Mountain Tap “barrel corral” and our landlord has allowed us to move into a grassy area on side of building for picnic and takeout. As for the barrel corral, I was able to get some extra barrels from our friends at Avery along with some reclaimed beetle kill 1X6 plank overage from a local sawmill that I used for the siding, so the corral is made entirely with reused/reclaimed items and stays on-brand with MTB core values.”
“We have restructured our FOH pub staff in order to be more efficient. Everyone does everything and rotates through roles. For example, a person may be a server on Friday, bartend on Saturday, and then bus tables on Sunday and everyone shares the tip pool. That said, it still takes a lot more work to generate a fraction of revenue. We now have 1-2 host/hostess positions per shift, we need them to get guest information for contact tracing (name, phone, table they sat at, time, etc.) and maintain those records for 21 days. Other re-opening costs include extra cleaning and sanitation supplies, costs to expand seating areas, and more to-go boxes/containers. Some of our labor costs have also increased due to the current seating, service, and food preparation configuration.”
“MTB just celebrated our 4th anniversary on July 7th. Since we opened on 7/7, we’ve brewed a beer with a 7-7 theme (for good luck/lucky 7’s) each year for our anniversary. Usually a strong pale ale/IPA style with 7 grains, 7 hop varieties, 7% abv, 70 BU’s. This year since it has been so goofy, and everything is unclear or in a “haze” we went with 7-7 Haze using 7 different types of grains and 7 hop varieties. Briess’ Blonde RoastOat® is in this year’s Anniversary Haze beer at a 22% inclusion rate.”
Mountain Tap is making the most of this challenging situation. We hope all of you out there are able to do the same and maybe something in this blog can help. If you are in the Steamboat Springs area, stop in and check out the corral – Cheers!