Moffat County, Craig restaurants turn towards takeout, delivery services following order of closure from Gov. Polis
Attempting to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak throughout the state, Gov. Jared Polis ordered restaurants statewide to close dine-in services effective immediately Monday. Restaurants can still serve takeout and offer delivery.
Polis also ordered the closure of Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles offices where driver’s licenses are issued. Renewals can still be done online.
Local gyms in Moffat County are also closed for the foreseeable future.
“These steps are very painful for our state. And while they may be an inconvenience to you if you’re a customer, imagine how difficult they are for the workers and the owners of those facilities,” Polis said in a press conference Monday evening.
With 29 new positive cases revealed Monday, Colorado now has 160 cases of COVID-19 in the state.
Tuesday morning, the closure of dine-in services hit the Craig and Moffat County community hard, with local fixtures shutting their doors to patrons for the next 30 days.
Closure signs citing COVID-19 popped up all around town, especially along Yampa Avenue in the downtown district, closing The Find and The Wine Bar, as well as Moffat Mercantile, and JW Snacks. Changes to coffee service at Downtown Books means patrons can only take their coffee to go as well.
Other bar and grills such as the OP Bar & Grill, Rocky Mountain Chuck Wagon, and Gino’s Pizzeria are all turning to takeout and delivery services as well.
The Barrel Cathedral, Carellis, and KS Kreations have all told patrons that they’ll do curbside pickup as well. Moffat Mercantile has started to do online inventory with free local delivery, too.
Many food service businesses could struggle to remain viable, and workers could lose their jobs, Polis said. But, he said he was acting out of concern for the public health of the state.
Danny Griffith, owner of JW Snacks, is doing all that he can to ensure workers keep their jobs and earn income.
“Cooks and bartenders are on the same schedule, but the wait staff doesn’t have anyone to wait on now,” Griffith said. “Knowing that, we’re keeping them on to rotate them with their shifts, giving them side work to get the place cleaned up while we’re closed. And we’re also having the wait staff take turns being delivery drivers.”
A well-established business in Craig, Griffith says he isn’t too worried about the future of JW Snacks, but added that the future is murky right now for everyone.
“We’re pretty established and can stay afloat,” Griffith said. “Some of these other places might not be able to. There’s always some concern; this is pretty ugly. If those goes longer, there will be other shutdowns besides bars, grills, restaurants, etc. Who knows what’s going to happen.”
While the closure will keep people from actually stepping foot inside the bar and grill for lunch or dinner, the popular business still has gift cards available, and is offering call-in, carry-out, delivery or curb-side service.
Gov. Polis’s order to close all dine-in services affected the Wine Bar directly, which also closed The Find, owned by Kirstie McPherson. McPherson said that due to the direct connection of space between the Wine Bar and The Find, staff made the decision to close the doors to the public.
Currently, McPherson said The Wine Bar has gift cards available, but due to their operating license they can’t do to-go orders or anything like that.
“The Wine Bar is strictly all but shut down until all this passes,” McPherson said. “People just have to call. With The Find, we can still do curbside delivery, or people can call and do one-on-one shopping.”
The Find is offering the Home Box, which is a gift box offered seasonally throughout the year. The cost is $49 and can be picked up locally, delivered or shipped.
“The boxes are filled with candles, potting materials, things like that,” McPherson said. “Plus, 15 percent of sales will be going back to vendors and non-profits affected by shutdown. We want to make sure they still have income when all this is said and done.”
McPherson said The Find rolled out the Home Box Tuesday morning and sold a handful quickly.
Times will be tough here for restaurants, bars, and locally-owned shops with the need for social distancing to avoid the spread of the virus. That’s why it’s so important to stay positive during this time and rally together to shop Craig, McPherson and Griffith said.
“We need to be uplifting, but it’s also quite terrifying,” McPherson said. “We don’t know how long this is going to take, or what’s going to happen moving forward. But we’re a small community and need to stick together.”
Polis encouraged Coloradans to support each other through the crisis and to consider themselves “heroes” if they are complying with social distancing recommendations.
And he encouraged residents to take advantage of the state’s natural offerings to get out while staying away from other people.
“Be smart, be safe, don’t worry, that doesn’t help. Find fulfilling ways to be closer to those around you,” Polis said, adding, “lookout for one another.”
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