DENVER (KDVR) — With the city now subject to a “Home by 10” public health order, breweries point to a piece of fine print that could force some to shut down temporarily.
Under the new guidelines, bars and breweries that do not have kitchens will be required to “use a licensed retail food establishment (such as a food truck or neighboring restaurant) located immediately adjacent to the licensed premises.”
“I mean, that’s insane,” Tamir Danon, owner of Novel Strand Brewing Company said. “It just seems like an incredibly strange burden.”
A burden, Danon says, will be impossible for his establishment to follow. Novel Strand is located at 1st and Cherokee within a residential neighborhood. There are no adjacent restaurants for the brewery to partner with.
“So what am I supposed to do? Petition the city real quick to have my neighbors become a restaurant so I can stay open? Ask the architects to put in a deep fryer so we can make fries or something?,” he said.
Danon says the safety of his customers and employees is his top priority. Novel Strand is not allowing anyone seating inside despite Denver allowing up to 25% capacity.
But, he says he believes the new public health ordinance includes an unfair hurdle for some businesses simply because of their location.
“I guess I should have considered when I got that space that three years from then there would be a pandemic and I’d be required to be next to a restaurant to serve people,” he said.
According to Danon, roughly half of Denver’s breweries are located adjacent to restaurants. The other half will have to rely solely on food trucks to remain open.
“What if the food truck is late so we can’t seat anyone? Okay, fair enough. Okay, the food truck is here now. What if they have to leave early due to an emergency and we have a full house? We now have to kick everyone out because there’s no food and they’re magically unsafe from COVID now?” Danon said.
He says he is hoping the added language is an oversight or unintended consequence that the city will quickly remedy.
“The way it is right now, I can tell you breweries in town are going to be shut down,” Danon said.