Our lives are truly enriched by great hospitality. Many downtown residents have felt the absence of the great spirit of downtown Salt Lake City due to the closure or limited access of bars and restaurants.
We can breathe a big sigh of relief now that we can once again patronize our favorite watering holes. But Covid has taken a heavy toll on bar employees who have been severely impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns. We surveyed the downtown scene to see how these folks have survived.
1) Berry Strong from Beerhive Pub says things are finally picking up. He has worked at Beerhive since 2009, but was unable to collect unemployment or funds after he came down with COVID last October.
2) Andrea Seegmiller, Lindsay Finlayson and Asha Booker are three of just five employees who have stuck it out at Whiskey Street.
3) Four of Gracies’ employees; James, Mike Herrera — a 12-year veteran, Wyatt Mertens, and Haley Dryamn, who has been there for 7 years, are beginning to feel optimistic again.
4) Green Pig Pub’s Kristi Johnson has been there for four years, and Tim Kronenberg is a newbie coming on just six months ago. Tim was unable to qualify for unemployment during shutdowns, but he feels stronger after having gotten through such a difficult time on his own, without government or parental assistance.
5) Mopho, with a glowing mask from Poplar Street Pub. Binks, an 11-year veteran from Poplar Street, says that he has stuck it out and he hopes other SLC bars follow the rules so that there are no more widespread government mandates.
6) Red Rock Brewing company’s Jayne has been a mainstay, working there for the past eight years. She is regaining her optimism and is happy to see that at least the weekends are once again drawing big crowds. If customers continue to return, it looks like most downtown bars will survive.
7) Sahra has been with Brickyard since 2013 back when it was Lumpys. She is a Chemistry major at the U and is covered in awesome tattoos.
“Covid made me feel empty with no job and no school. It was hard to start again, but we have a great community of regulars, (at Brickyard Bar) and some even helped me get back on my feet by donating money.”
8) “I worked as a bartender in Washington DC at the Pie Shop DC until COVID-19 regulations led to the bar being shut down.”
David moved to SLC and is working at Twist. He’s originally from southern California, so this guy gets around!
“COVID-19 accommodations were difficult to deal with. We had less staff, less customers, and yet a larger workload was added to our responsibilities to fulfill sanitation requirements.”
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