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Breweries take on reopening with strategies that ensure community safety

Posted at 9:54 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 02:34:27-04

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Restaurants opened their dining rooms today and so did Breweries with dining rooms.

Customers filled Barrio Brewing Co. on reopening day.

The tables were six-feet apart and employees took extra precautions, like to keep everyone safe.

“All of our employees are wearing masks. All of our employees have food handlers cards if the job calls for gloves for the tasks they’re doing they are wearing them,” explained Jamie Dickman, Barrio's operations manager.

Barrio said they chose to reopen because their employees were ready and because they have the room to do it safely.

“We’re lucky that we have a facility that’s over 22,000 square feet. We have four rooms where we can bring people in and they’re distant away from each other," explained Dickman.

But that’s not the case for every brewery.

“This is such a community-centered place whenever we are open and operating. We’re having bands here. We’re having out our Disney singo nights, [and] our trivia nights," explained Benjamin Vernon, owner of Crooked Tooth Brewing Co. “If we’re limited on that capacity the risk versus reward just isn’t in it for us.”

Vernon explained he will keep his doors closed until June, but will still offer take out to do their part in keeping the community safe.

“We were already planning to be closed until then,” said Vernon.

Both breweries want to continue to serve the community safely, and although they both saw sales drop during the shutdown neither had to furlough employees.

“we didn’t lay off anybody. We didn’t furlough anybody so we had everybody on staff ready to come back. We were just waiting for the call," explained Dickman.

Both were able to keep paying their employees because they were given Paycheck Protection Program loans.

“We love Tucson. We’re lucky to still have our people working and have jobs and still be part of the community," said Vernon.