I’m tired of saying 2020 is a strange year, but yeah, it is. Recent restrictions have all but halted indoor service at brewery taprooms, taverns, bars, bottleshops, and so on. While outdoor service is still okay, there’s a lot of unused indoor space these days.
Some creative business owners are thinking out of the box and inviting businesses and individuals to use those unused spaces. These spaces can still be used for retail sales, just not for sitting around and slurping beers.
Below I share three examples of local establishments that are opening up their retails spaces for use by artists, artisans, and makers of all sorts, offering a holiday shopping experience that may or may not include beer. Please feel free to use the comments section below to add any businesses you that are doing something similar.
BREWMASTER’S TAPROOM (Renton)
At Brewmaster’s Taproom in Renton, they are open for to-go beer sales, and some on-premise patio seating, but no seating inside. Through the holiday season leading up to Christmas, they’re hosting a Holiday Market featuring local artisans and makers, putting the unused indoor space to work.
“If I’m lucky enough to be open, I want to be able to support those who have lost their income stream – either through losing their jobs or losing their revenue through canceled holiday events,” says Marley Rall, owner of Brewmaster’s Taproom. “So we’ve invited a wide variety of vendors: sassy mask maker, cocoa bomb maker, cross stitcher, painter, candle maker, and more.”
“We’re hoping to be a place where people can come, feel safe, and support their local community members. You will not be asked/required to buy any beer; however, you will be required to wear a mask and respect the rules that will help to keep everyone safe. I would also like to make it clear that we will not be taking any cut of their sales, we only collect taxes and credit card fees.”
The Holiday Market at Brewmaster’s Taproom will be open through December 26th. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for more info.
TOGGLE’S BOTTLE SHOP (Everett)
From Toggle’s Bottle Shop:
Everett Makers Find a New Home at Toggle’s Bottle Shop
Dynamic duo reimagine empty taproom as local holiday hot spot
The once-bustling taproom at Toggle’s Bottle Shop sits empty. Chairs tucked neatly under tables, the copper bar top stretches on, seemingly forever, without the interruption of frothy pint glasses set against its metallic glare. The eerily quiet scene, now so familiar at many local food and beverage institutions, is about to be wildly interrupted with the arrival of the Everett Maker’s Market.
The Toggle’s taproom will be transformed into a temporary home for local artisans and their handmade goods from November 25-December 23. Retail goods will include photography, art prints, pottery, plants, skincare, and jewelry amongst an assortment of other handcrafted items. Patrons can also choose from a selection of more than 700 craft beers, ciders, mead, kombucha and seltzers from Toggle’s extensive bottle shop with a focus on local, independent brewers.
“Now, more than ever, has really emphasized what a huge role local, small businesses play in our lives and well-being,” said co-owner Danielle Lothrop. “If we can use the current situation to help someone else and empower our artisan community- we will every time.”
Everett Makers Market, a collective of artisan makers, led by Kristen Keenan of Vertical Gardens Northwest typically sees its busiest season right before the holidays and relies on pop-up events to connect makers with the public. Due to COVID restrictions, events are on hiatus and many event locations are closed. The temporary residence at Toggle’s will be a first for the group. Both parties are looking forward to a bright and local holiday season.
Toggle’s is a 21+ establishment, please leave all minors at home to shop at the Makers Market or the bottle shop.
Toggle’s Bottle Shop is a craft beer bar and bottle shop located in the heart of Downtown Everett offering 700+ selections of craft beer, cider, mead, kombucha, hard seltzers on tap and in cans/bottles, crowlers/growlers to go.
Current operating hours:
Please note: 100% of tips on to-go beverage purchases will benefit laid off staff members. Due to the latest governor’s orders, all staff members have been laid off until dine-in restrictions have been lifted.Contact: Danielle Lothrop, owner of Toggle’s Bottle Shop. 206-660-4308
FARMSTRONG BREWING (Mount Vernon)
At Farmstrong Brewing, they’re still open for on-premis service in there spacious beer garden, but no inside seating. They want to put that space to use. The plans are coming together and they’ve put out the following message via social media.
“Calling all creators! Our taproom is now closed for inside dining and drinking BUT…. We can still do retail, SO……. We are donating our taproom space to local creative types looking for a place to set up and sell their wares. “
“I know a lot of you have already been asking how to sign up so here goes. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following info:
- Your name and contact info
- Name of the business (if you have one)
- What is your product or art medium?
- How much space do you need?
- If you have some photos of your setup, that would help too.
“So far the response has been great and we want to help as many people as possible during this time. Based on our taproom size, I am thinking we could have 5-7 vendors set up at a time and still maintain proper distancing and capacity for a retail space at 25%.”
“We are planning on being open Wed-Sun and would like to start right away. We will book vendors on a weekly basis. and rotate weekly as long as we are in the scenario. I look forward to meeting you all but please understand that the safety of our staff and customers is the first priority. By setting up in our taproom you are agreeing to wear a mask and follow all current safety guidelines. This is not negotiable. That said, I hope we can help.”