Mother Stewart’s brewery customers should expect ‘a slightly modified experience’

Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. is reopening outdoor dining on Wednesday with indoor dining to follow - after taking a few extra days to prepare.

Kevin Loftis, owner of Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. said, “There’s a lot of new regulations and a lot of new expectations.”

He said that they decided to not reopen outdoor dining on Friday because they did not want to start off on the “wrong foot.”

Loftis explained that he needed time to retrain his staff, introduce new cleaning procedures and decide if they were going to have hostess seating.

“I would expect a slightly modified experience here as we deal with the regulatory and common-sense procedures that we put in place,” Loftis said.

One of the new procedures is allowing only individuals 21 and over to enter.

RELATED: Springfield residents enjoy outdoor dining: ‘There is no doubt they will play by the rules’

“We used to be quite the kid-friendly place, but I can’t afford kids running around,” Loftis said. “If you’re going to be in here. I need to have you drinking.”

When they open for outdoor and indoor seating, he said they are expecting to be able to seat around 50 people in their taproom and 75 to 85 people in their beer garden. Usually, Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. is able to seat 150 people in just their taproom.

“We’re going to be more than spread out,” Loftis said. “It’s not just about six feet, it’s about people’s comfort.”

Temporary seating may be added outside or in the brewhouse depending on the need, Loftis said.

Another new procedure for the time-being is not allowing individuals to sit at the bar.

Loftis explained that they decided to not have bar seating to help ensure customer and employee safety and to prevent potential problems.

RELATED: Reopening Springfield: ‘We’ve been busy since we walked in the doors’

He also said that they are still determining if they will have something similar to hostess seating.

Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. is planning to begin the reopening process slowly by operating four days a week.

“Because I have less revenue and more labor, I can’t afford a slow Tuesday or a slow Monday night – it will eat you alive,” Loftis said.

Local breweries like Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. have taken a huge hit during the coronavirus pandemic because their largest source of revenue usually comes from draft beer.

Last year, Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. did 70 percent of their sales in drafts and 30 percent in cans, Loftis explained.

“The drafts were not only for here on-site, but also for the restaurant taps,” Loftis said.

As bars and restaurants reopen, the amount of product to order and how many customers will return is unpredictable.

Loftis said it will take a few weeks to determine what the new demand is, but he is looking forward to seeing the regular customers.

“We’ll work our way through the new normal and go from there,” Loftis added.

For more information on hours of operation, search for Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. on Facebook.

About the Author