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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Butcher and the Brewer on E. Fourth Street Has Reopened After Six Months of Covid Closure

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 12:04 PM

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After six months of being shuttered, Butcher and the Brewer (2043 E. Fourth St., 216-331-0805) downtown has reopened for indoor and outdoor service. Owner Chris Lieb says that longtime fans should prepare themselves for a few changes, all designed to protect the safety of diners as well as the financial viability of the business. Everything has been scaled back, he says, including the staff, the menu, and the days and hours of operation.

“The reality of it is, we can’t go full bore; there’s just not enough business to support it,” he explains. “We scaled it all back so that we can try to function in this atmosphere – and still do it very well – but not to the degree we’re used to.”

To reopen after six months (and smashed windows) required weeks of lead time, adds Lieb. In effect, it’s like opening a new restaurant. Staffers had to be re-hired and retrained, a menu needed to be conceived and inventory amassed, and then there are all the Covid additions like barriers and sanitation protocols.

The good news is that fresh beer has been flowing all along as Butcher and the Brewer has been brewing to accommodate off-premises sales for the first time. Those house brews are now available on tap at bars across the state.

Lieb says that the name of the game these days is survival. And that word means something different to each business based on location, clientele and product.

“The goal right now is to weather the storm,” he says. “There is nothing to bring people downtown: sports, concerts, conventions, Playhouse Square and workers,” he says. “That’s the scary thing about East Fourth. Do people like us enough to come down just to see us? The first two days have been decent, but is it enough to survive? I don’t know, but we’re giving it our best shot.”

Tremont Taphouse, he reports, has been open and doing fine for about a month.

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