After lockdown on bars lifted, Cypress taphouse works to forge way forward

Gary Marler, owner of Brew:30 Taphouse in Cypress, sanitizes a bingo card in preparation for bingo night the taphouse will host June 4. Brew:30 is one of several Cy-Fair bars that reopened in late May under new social distancing guidelines intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gary Marler, owner of Brew:30 Taphouse in Cypress, sanitizes a bingo card in preparation for bingo night the taphouse will host June 4. Brew:30 is one of several Cy-Fair bars that reopened in late May under new social distancing guidelines intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gary Marler, owner of Brew:30 Taphouse in Cypress, sanitizes a bingo card in preparation for bingo night the taphouse will host June 4. Brew:30 is one of several Cy-Fair bars that reopened in late May under new social distancing guidelines intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)

Since opening in 2018 on Telge Road in the Cypress suburbs, just north of the Rock Creek and Stable Gate home communities, Brew:30 Taphouse has built up a loyal following of beer fans who have turned to the bar for a reliable mix of craft, seasonal and small-batch brews.

After the coronavirus pandemic forced owners Gary Marler and Tiffany Richie to shut down their taproom for about two months this spring, the duo said they have since reopened and are working to forge a path forward.

That path, Richie said, includes following new state guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus—such as enforcing social distancing and limits on occupancy—while also finding new ways to serve customers and keep the business alive.

"It's the community that is helping us get through this," Richie said. "They are the ones coming in and making sure we are stable. They could choose to buy their beer at the grocery story, but they’re choosing not to. They’re choosing to come in and support us, and that’s just as important as anything we’re doing."

Brew:30's taproom has been reopened since May 22, Marler said. Since then, the duo said they have heightened already stringent cleaning and sanitizing protocol while also exploring new ways to use their outdoor covered patio to compensate for the limits on indoor seating. Ideas have included hosting live music outdoors and hosting movie nights, Marler said, but he said the timing and execution of such events is still being considered.


A key change moving forward in general will involve getting people used to sitting outside instead of at the bar, Marler said.

"[The bar] is a big part of our business," he said. "People come to a place like this because they want to make a connection with their neighbors and friends. The lack of not being able to do a bar is quite difficult. We still have to go through an education and evolution process with our customers to think about the back patio."

The pain of the shutdown was offset somewhat because Brew:30 is able to offer beer to-go in crowlers and growlers, something that requires a specific license that other bars might not have, Marler said. The business typically filled around 70-80 crowlers per month, a number that shot up to 200 per week over the first two weeks of the shutdown before dropping off to around 120 per week, Marler said.

Marler said he has been looking to build that side of his business more, but is not sure it will ever truly make up for the challenges posed by coronavirus restrictions. On the first Friday of being reopened, Marler said the bar was at its occupancy limit. However, over the past 10 days, he estimated his business has been about 60% of what is needed to break even, even with the increase in to-go sales.

"Until we get the six foot rule lifted, we are going to scrape by," he said. "But the other two strategies of beer to-go and [using] the back patio could get us back to a break even point. You never know."

Marler and Richie both said they are staying hopeful and expressed gratitude for the support they have gotten from the local community so far.

"Without them wanting us to be here when all this is over, we wouldn’t be here," Richie said.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Cy-Fair ISD recently added 266 propane buses to its total fleet. Funded by the 2019 bond package, the buses account for approximately 30% of the district’s total fleet and provide cleaner emissions. (Courtesy Cy-Fair ISD)
Cy-Fair ISD's 2019 bond program funds new propane buses to replace diesel vehicles

Propane buses now account for about 30% of the district's entire fleet.

ExxonMobil moved employees from its Springwoods Village campus to a Hughes Landing to cure a default on a Montgomery County tax abatement. (Courtesy ExxonMobil)
ExxonMobil resolves tax abatement default; Home Depot distribution center taking over superfund site; and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

The University of St. Thomas is a private Catholic college in Houston. It also has a microcampus in downtown Conroe. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
University of St. Thomas offering free tuition to first 500 students who apply

The online degrees are in the following fields: cybersecurity, network technology, electronic technology, general business, and alcohol and drug dependency counseling.

Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 has begun construction on the first of three phases for its new 43-acre, state-of-the-art campus located in Spring, according to a May 7 news release. (Courtesy Cypress Creek EMS)
Harris County Emergency Services District No. 11 begins construction on new 43-acre campus

The campus will house ESD No. 11's new ambulance service, which is scheduled to launch Sept. 4 when the district's contract with current service provider, Cypress Creek Emergency Medical Services, expires.

King and his team constructed the Ringing Singing Tree, a 17-foot-tall, 20-ton wind powered sound sculpture, in 2015. The project is on display outside of Austin. (Courtesy JK Welding)
Cypress-based JK Welding takes on unique, challenging projects

Motorists might recognize the FM 529 facility by the large projects that can be seen from the street, which have included an oil derrick, a pirate ship and a massive wind chime.

The new campus will be modeled after the comprehensive Houston Methodist West and Houston Methodist The Woodlands facilities. (Courtesy Houston Methodist)
Houston Methodist announces plans for new 400-bed hospital in Cypress

The new hospital could open as early as 2024 and ultimately employ more than 500 people, officials said.

The Texas Department of State Health Services projects a significant shortage of nurses by 2032. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: Why Texas faces a growing nursing shortage and what can be done to address it

In 2018, the state health department estimated about 11% of the demand for nurses was not able to be met, and that number is expected to rise to 16.3% by 2032.

The practice is led by Stoni Johnston, who is a licensed and board certified psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. (Courtesy Sulcata Psychiatry)
Sulcata Psychiatry in Vintage Park now scheduling appointments for June

Patients who schedule appointments for June prior to May 31 will receive a 15% discount.

Jersey Village City Hall is located on Lakeview Drive, but city officials have plans to break ground on a new facility in Village Center this summer. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
Village Center, new Jersey Village City Hall slated for groundbreaking this summer following delays

If construction begins this summer as planned, the entire project could be completed within three to four years, officials told residents during a May 4 information session about the project.

HTV
Houston, Harris County annual addresses no longer hosted by Greater Houston Partnership over Texas voter bill dispute

Local leaders criticized the area chamber of commerce for not taking a definitive stance on two voting access bills currently being deliberated in the Texas Legislature.

The new location is Chipotle's first in Magnolia. (Courtesy Chipotle Mexican Grill)
Chipotle opens in Magnolia; get a sneak peek of new Houston aquarium and more metro news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.