How does a small restaurant survive in a Pandemic? Locöl reinvents and looks for support
When Locöl Barley and Vine at 7902 35th SW opened in 2011 it was a long shot. No TV's, somewhat limited seating, a tiny galley kitchen and only serving wine and beer. But from the earliest concept about it by owner Kyle Duce it was marked by a high level intuition about what people really wanted in a neighborhood restaurant/bar.
Small plates of expertly prepared food, carefully curated, locally sourced wine and beer and a genuine warmth showed in everything from the decor to the smiles you were greeted with. It opened with a bang. For some reason, TV stations, and other media featured it and Locol was quickly sold out every night.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Pandemic and for Locöl and every other restaurant, it became a struggle just to stay open. Fear and uncertainty, and serious restrictions meant cash flow and customers became scarce.
Nearing their tenth anniversary, Duce and General Manager Scott Maybanks huddled on next steps.
What they came up with is in keeping with their original mission. Uniquely Locöl in that it's what you might call "bargain gourmet" they are now offering Take N Bake Pizzas. These are 15 inches (easily enough for four). All $20 or less. Three to start.
- The Locöl Taco Za! - with Tiger Sauce base, marinated pork,mozzarella, arugula, cilantro, red radish, diced onions and cojita cheese.
- All About the Veggies - with pesto. marinated artichoke hearts, mozzarella and goat cheese
- It Aint Easy Being Cheesy - with marinara base and mozzarella
These are now in addition some dishes that made the regionally famous, all To-Go too.
- Cubano Sandwich- with braised pork, ham, spicy honey mustard, provolone cheese, ciabiatta bread, served with salad or chips
- Seared Chicken - Chicken breast, mushrooms,peppers with Romesco Sauce
- Locöl Fall Chili with butternut squash, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, peppers and onions
- Los Tacos Locöls - Marinated pork with cinnamon, orange, clove, garlic, cumin, cilantro, lime, onion, cojita cheese and a corn tortilla (served ala carte)
And for dessert (seriously)
- B.A.B. Bad Ass Brownie - Super chocolate chunk brownie topped with a scoop of bourbon pumpkin ice cream
- Mini Doughnuts - Home made, tossedin cinnamon, sugar and caramel sauce plus gelato
"We are doing about a third of our regular business," said Maybanks, "and now with the dine-in restrictions, even with our heated outdoor patio we need help to get to the other side of of this."
To that end Duce crafted a GoFundMe page with a promise. Donors will get gift cards for later redemption and those that contribute $50 or more will be invited to a very special, invitation only and catered 10th Anniversary Party when restrictions are lifted, likely sometime in the spring. "We are thinking of doing something unforgettable with some of our favorite musical performers, foods, and beverages all done in Locöl style," said Duce.
You can just stop by and pick up any of the pizzas (until they sell out) but for the other items please call them at 206-708-7725.
They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 4pm to 9pm.
The GoFundMe Page is here. Now up to $5500 of their $15,000 goal.