Evil Czech Brewery blends flavors of three restaurants into one during pandemic
MISHAWAKA, Ind.— 2020 was supposed to be a record-setting year for Evil Czech Brewery on Main Street.
“Then the pandemic basically came out of nowhere and shut two of our local restaurants down and crippled basically our everyday operation at Evil Czech,” said Corporate Executive Chef for Market Fresh Gourmet Restaurant Group, Drew Sachau.
Evil Czech Brewery is operated by the same restaurant group that runs Corndance Tavern, Carnegie Library Event Space and Jesus Latin Grill and Tequila Bar.
Both Corndance Tavern and Carnegie Library are closed during the pandemic, but Evil Czech chefs are finding ways to incorporate each place’s most popular items into its ever-changing menu.
“On a daily basis, we’re rewriting our menu out of Evil Czech to kind of highlight our favorites out of all of our locations,” Sachau said.“We’re doing the best that we can, overseeing all of the social distancing guidelines, sanitizing the kitchen on a regular basis but it’s really one of those things that has created a major hurtle for us to operate.”
Evil Czech is open during the pandemic for take-out only. Customers can call in and pick up their orders, which can include anything from a growler full of local beer to a family style meatloaf dinner.
“We’ve become known for our funky takes on some great American classics. We develop a lot of fun mac 'n cheeses, burgers, pizzas. It's Great American pub food,” Sachau said.
Staff both in and out of the kitchen don gloves and masks or bandanas while working and the restaurant’s lobby now serves as an efficient pick-up area, complete with markers and arrows on the floor meant to help with CDC recommended social distancing.
“The markers in our lobby are every six feet to keep everybody separated and there’s no more than five people in our lobby at once otherwise you have to wait in your vehicle,” Sachau said.
A contact-less hand sanitizer station is available for guests upon entry and exit of the take-out area.
Evil Czech also joined local breweries Hop Station Craft Bar, South Bend Brew Works, and Heavenly Goat Brewing Company to make “We drink beer from here” t-shirts. The proceeds from the shirts are going to benefit local bar and brewery employees who need some extra help.
“Our greatest asset is our staff,” Sachau said, adding that the restaurant group hopes to bring its 200 plus employees back to work once the restrictions for in-person service are lifted. Currently, the restaurant is operating with about 11 staff members.
On Easter Sunday, the restaurant saw so many take-out orders that it decided to set up a makeshift drive-thru outside in order to keep customers and staff members safe while serving up dinner.
“We’re doing the best that we can, we’re still Evil Czech Brewery, we’re still Corndance Tavern as best as we can be,” Sachau said. “We can’t wait to get back to normal business, or what will be the new normal, as soon as possible.”