He had only a year to build up his business before the arrival of the unexpected: a pandemic that fundamentally altered people’s behavior and that packed an especially powerful punch for businesses such as his.
“March and April were just complete washout months for us,” Peri said of the early weeks of coronavirus-related closures across the state.
It was not until June, a month after Texas allowed some restaurants to reopen dine-in areas at partial capacity, that Peri saw business begin to normalize.
But as infections and hospitalizations began to climb again in the fall, Kegs & Mugs found itself struggling once more to attract customers, Peri said.
The idea behind the restaurant was to create an accessible drinking and dining experience focused on a creative food menu and a wide selection of craft beers—especially India pale ales and other, darker brews, he said.
“I wanted to specialize in IPAs, in stouts,” Peri said. “If you go to any kind of brewery or craft brew place, most places have three stouts on the tap. ... I carry 10 stouts [and] 12 IPAs on the tap.”
The restaurant—which also carries a variety of other beers, ciders and wines—has experimented with its food menu from the start.
In addition to classic American bar fare, such as burgers and wings, Peri’s restaurant has offered German-style bratwurst and Indian-inspired cuisine from samosa burgers to tikka tacos.
Now, nearly a year into the pandemic, Peri said he is working to let people know his business is still here. He is hoping, he said, to continue to build his list of core regular customers to about 200 in the coming months.
Kegs & Mugs
615 FM 2281, Ste. 100, Lewisville