SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — San Diego breweries, bars and wineries that normally would not serve food are partnering with food vendors in order to stay open during the pandemic.
It’s a concept borne of the coronavirus after officials on Monday announced they would move again to close breweries, wineries and bars - that do not have a food license - because of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.
“It really is turning lemonade out of lemons. W’ere really good at making good beer and selling. We have no idea what it is to run a kitchen and provide that kind of service,” said Doug Constantiner, owner of Societe Brewing in Kearny Mesa, who’s now brewing up beer with a side of chicken.
Under San Diego County health regulations, businesses that serve food are able to stay open, but those who do not had to get creative in order to stay open.
“What most breweries are doing now is they’re trying to find one food vendor who they partner with on a regular basis,” said Kris Anacleto, President of the San Diego Brewers Guild.
Anacleto said the partnerships won’t save everyone.
“We’re really reliant on the food vendors doing well. If the food vendor isn’t doing well they’re not going to come back to the brewery,” he said.
Constantiner figured he couldn’t go wrong with tacos.
“Drinking a beer outside with a taco is probably the most San Diego thing you can do,” he said.
This week, Fit Tacos partnered with Societe Brewing, and although they are popular with guests, they are not a permanent food provider.
“We’re very excited,” said Eddie Tamayo, who started out as a meal prep company.
Tamayo barely bought the food truck a month ago, when Societe Brewing called.
“The [timing] couldn’t be better,” he said.
Patrons will order drinks and food together.
“When you order a beer you just need to have some food with it. So you can order everything together,” said Tamayo.
The seats are already out. Question is: Who’s coming to the table?
“You know, if the customer wins, if they like fried chicken or tacos then together we can win,” said Constantiner.
The new restrictions are in place for three weeks but the state could decide to extend them if necessary.