We’re excited to welcome you back, but there are some new rules.
A look back and a look forward…
March 16, we decided to close both Big Grove Brewery locations. One day later, the state of Iowa mandated that all restaurants and taprooms be closed to in-house guests. Prior to that decision, our leadership teams met several times to discuss how we’d meet the disruption that was sure to come.
March 17, we would’ve been celebrating the 3rd anniversary of our Iowa City Taproom. What a strange and bewildering feeling to ask everyone to stay away from our space, when all we do as a company is aim for new and exciting ways to welcome guests into our restaurants and breweries.
We quickly pivoted to turn our businesses into a pick-up and drive-thru model that could continue to serve our guests the same quality beer and food with a reimagined version of hospitality.
We are so proud of our teams during this crisis:
- Partnered in creating “Food With Love,” an initiative with other area restaurants and Common Table, Community Foundation of Johnson County, Table to Table, and City of Iowa City to provide meals to those in need. Food with Love targets 10,000 packaged meals donated by May 31.
- Worked with United Way to secure and package 5,000 pounds of rice for local pantries.
- Cooked and delivered meals to staff at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.
- Donated meals to the Solon Senior Dining program.
- Provided meals for the ICCSD Nutrition Department.
It’s now been eight weeks since we closed our doors, and we’ve used the time to draft reopening plans. The uncertainty has been difficult on everyone but our teams pushed through toward the goal of providing first-class hospitality to our family, friends, and guests.
Bearing these thoughts in mind (and knowing that this all could change at any time), we have a responsibility to provide first for those who care for our guests. To allow our staff some time to rest and restore themselves, we will be closing both locations from Monday, May 11 to Thursday, May 14.
We will be open Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16 for carry-out and curbside service—hosting our weekly Saturday drive-thru 11am-2pm. We will close again Sunday, May 17 and Monday, May 18 for final training, before reopening to the public on Tuesday, May 19. Daily curbside food and beer pick-ups, along with Saturday Drive-Thru Burgers & Brews, will continue on for the foreseeable future.
Our goal is to execute these plans in a safe manner:
- Barstools will be removed and some tables will be marked “out-of-use” to follow 6-foot social distancing and in compliance with 50% capacity guidelines.
- We will bring guests into our space one table at a time to avoid queuing in normal congregation areas.
- Changing Iowa City self-service to full-service model.
- Initiating new cleaning schedule and sanitary practices.
Even without free high-fives, hugs, and handshakes, we will still greet our staff and guests with positive energy and warm hospitality—albeit from behind masks and from 6 feet away. We are dedicated to the details which will create high-quality experiences that our guests have come to expect, because above all, we love to take care of people.
Thank you again for all your love and support. Our partners and customers have shown us what true community means. As we move to the next chapter of this story, we can’t wait to be safely together again.
– Matt & Doug