Local restaurants, distilleries getting creative to stay in business amid coronavirus shutdown

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The bar and restaurant shutdown in the KC metro calls for some immediate changes for many businesses.

Creating hand sanitizer out of alcohol waste? You’ll find that at one local distillery amid the coronavirus shut down.

J. Reiger & Co. is trying to keep all of their staff working and paid during the shut down and one way to do that is to make something in high demand — hand sanitizer.

“The most important ingredient you need is high proof alcohol and we fortunately have a lot of that,” Lucy Rieger said.

She said they got the idea after being contacted by a nursing facility.

“We have a nursing facility reach out to us last night and said they were having a hard time finding sanitizer and asked if we could help, so we are going to step up and start feeling the need.”

J.Reiger is continuing their wholesale operation as well as offering cocktail kits to go.

In Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District, Streetcar Grille and Tavern is also trying to stay afloat.

“Two weeks ago, I would have told you that this probably wouldn’t have affected us. Obviously that’s vastly different now,” said Assisting Manager Jeremy Neave.

Streetcar Grille and Tavern is offering curbside to go and delivery through companies like Door Dash.

“What we’re doing right now is we’re offering to go items, only obviously we’re not allowed to have anybody indoors, but if you order through the three online ordering sites, there is a little bit of delivery available as well,” he said.

The restaurant has had to lay off some staff members, but they are reaching out to distributors and trying to support employees as best they can.

“I have a pretty scrappy staff here. They’re tough. We always refer to our staff as part of our extended family and there’s not a whole lot that I don’t think any of them would do for us and there’s nothing that we wouldn’t do for them.”

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