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JW Snack’s to host Popular Bar benefit Thursday night

JW Snacks is holding a benefit fundraiser for the Popular Bar Thursday night following the state-ordered closure of all bars in late June.
Joshua Carney / Craig Press

Times are getting quite tough for a favorite watering hole for locals as COVID-19 restrictions continue to hinder bar operations in Colorado.

After briefly opening up in late June, the Popular Bar, along with all other bars in Colorado, closed to in-person service due to the increasing spread of the novel coronavirus.

Gov. Polis previously allowed bars to open to a limited capacity on June 19, but following a sharp rise in positive cases across the state, Gov. Polis stepped in and ordered the temporary closure of all bars on June 30.

Knowing that a local favorite is struggling, bartenders at JW Snack’s stepped up to help organize a benefit fundraiser for the Popular Bar. Scheduled for Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the benefit will include a drawing for prizes as well as cash donations for the local business.

“It’s a place we really like to go to; it’s near and dear to our hearts, so we wanted to step up and help,” said Michelle Jones, a bartender at JW Snack’s. “We’ve done benefits in the past for individuals in need, but we’ve never done anything like this for a business. We just want to help in any way that we can though.”

Thursday’s benefit will include an auction for a dinner date with Craig City Councilman Steve Mazzuca, which should help create some fun at the benefit.

“We approached him with the idea and he graciously accepted,” Jones said. “It’s just a dinner date; it’ll be fun.”

Along with the auction for a date with Councilman Mazzucca, JW Snack’s will be holding a drawing on Sunday on Facebook live. The drawing will include prizes of a new Standup Paddleboard, as well as some gift certificates to local businesses.

Entries for the drawing can be made until Saturday night, and cash donations are being accepted all week for the Popular Bar.

There are no tickets available for the benefit, according to Jones. It is first come, first serve at JW Snack’s Thursday night.

For Jarrod Burns, head bartender and future owner of the Popular Bar, seeing all the support from locals is why he’s so proud to call Moffat County home.

“It’s part of the reason I love Craig and why I moved back here,” Burns, a 2001 Moffat County High School graduate, said. “When I left for college I was thinking I’d never come back, but I did. The small-town atmosphere and the relationships you can build and have here…there’s no place I’d rather be.”

In addition to the benefit and fundraiser hosted by JW Snack’s, Burns added that two local businesses – Cramer Flooring and K S Kreations – have stepped up to help the Popular Bar. Cramer Flooring donated linoleum flooring for the new kitchen area the bar is working on building, while K S Kreations will help the bar fill its first food orders in the near future.

Following the fundraiser and the week-long cash donations, Burns said the Popular Bar will use the money to cover costs accrued during the nearly three-and-a-half month closure.


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