Oz. Taphouse raising thousands of dollars for those affected by COVID-19 crisis

Oz. Taphouse owners Krista Kanter, left, and Sean Kanter, along with their partner John Odette, have started a fund to help those affected by the COVID-19 crisis in their community. (Courtesy Sean and Krista Kanter, gif made by Jay Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)
Oz. Taphouse owners Krista Kanter, left, and Sean Kanter, along with their partner John Odette, have started a fund to help those affected by the COVID-19 crisis in their community. (Courtesy Sean and Krista Kanter, gif made by Jay Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)

Oz. Taphouse owners Krista Kanter, left, and Sean Kanter, along with their partner John Odette, have started a fund to help those affected by the COVID-19 crisis in their community. (Courtesy Sean and Krista Kanter, gif made by Jay Jones/Community Impact Newspaper)

According to Krista and Sean Kanter, owners of Oz. Taphouse in the Four Points area, their business has dropped by about 80% since a statewide order for all restaurants to cease dine-in operations took effect at midnight March 20.

Krista said they have also had to cut 90% of their staff, going from 23 to four employees, not including the owners. The Kanters and their partner, John Odette, said they want to rehire those employees, but at this time, they are not sure when that can happen.

The establishment is also still maintaining to-go business through curbside pickup and delivery business through GrubHub, DoorDash and Uber Eats.

“The ironic thing is the week before, we had record-breaking sales,” Krista said. “Coincidentally, before this all happened, we had just launched our online takeout portal that is tied to our website.”

Despite those grim statistics, the remaining crew at Oz. Taphouse, located at 10601 RM 2222, Austin, are continuing with a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help those in need within their community. As of afternoon March 23, the establishment’s fund devoted to helping feed people has raised more than $3,500.


“We know that there are many families and individuals who may not be able to afford a good meal right now,” information from Oz. Taphouse states. “So, we are challenging anyone who feels called upon to donate a meal. Donate $20, $50, $100 or more.”

Additionally, those who have recently been laid off or fired or who cannot work due to this health disaster are encouraged by the owners to call in, place an order and pick up a meal with no questions asked; all they have to do is mention that they are ordering through the Oz. Tap House COVID-19 Food Fund.

“We just started last week and are going to see how far it can go, and my partner, John [Odette], is going to see about reaching out to churches and other places,” Sean said.

Krista added that she has reached out to the low-income apartments on Four Points Drive, but no one was available, so she left information about the fundraiser at the administrative office. She said she is also looking for other ways to help, but that has proven difficult to do given the constraints of a pandemic.

“I’ve been thinking about reaching out to area schools, but it’s kind of a delicate situation because you have to worry about germs being spread,” she said. “It’s kind of tricky.”

For now, the Kanters and Odette have said that if anyone in the community knows anyone in need, they should tell them to please call 512-366-5007 or send an email to info@oztaphouse.com. Customers may also give through their GoFundMe at gf.me/u/xrmvn4 or donate in-house while picking up their to-go orders.
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By Brian Rash

Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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