Bars, restaurants, breweries adapting to COVID guidelines during NFL Playoffs

Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 7:16 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - TVs are radiating, eyes are glued to screens, food and drinks are in hand; it’s the NFL playoffs - heaven for bars and breweries around Reno.

“We sell a lot of draft beer around football season,” Ross Elin, general manager of The Stick said. “Food-wise we have beefed up the wing sauces a little bit. We added an Asian zing and a nitro sauce so those have been doing really well.”

With six playoff matchups going on during Wild Card Weekend fans have been keeping track of their favorite team’s success. For Elin he is more concerned about the rivalry between his business and the Coronavirus pandemic - a frustrating time for everyone involved.

“The only negative feedback we have (from customers) is getting people used to the COVID guidelines that they have to follow, like wearing masks when you’re up and moving around and when you’re not actively eating or drinking.”

Like all COVID compliant places around the state The Stick has to operate at 25% capacity, or 50 people - whichever is less because of Governor Steve Sisolak’s statewide pause.

The upstairs at The Stick has been quiet. The downstairs is not as packed as it would be usually be.

“We’re making the best of it,” said Elin. “It’s still been a fun season. We’re just happy to be open.”

Over on 4th Street, Record Street Brewing is also gameplanning to find success during the NFL Playoffs in the pandemic.

“Usually football is a group activity where you go watch with friends. With only having four to a table it’s hampered people’s ability to come out in groups,” Dylan Evans said, Record Street’s general manager. “We are getting some people coming in it just hasn’t been as good as it’s been other years.”

Evans is a big football fan. One complication he is experiencing is his dining area and event venue next door - The Alpine - all count toward his capacity limit despite being separated by a wall.

“It is frustrating on some levels to have all this space ready to go but not have the ability to do it.”

Like The Stick, Record Street has multiple TVs and a diverse menu catered to sports fans. Evans just hopes there is enough support to go around until the 2021 season.

“Next year, hopefully, with a lot of hard work, people wearing masks, and the vaccine coming out we (can welcome) 400 (people) to come and watch the football game together.”

Governor Sisolak’s statewide pause can be revised after January 15.

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