Bear King brewery reopening after serving as Crisis Network hub

After being closed 49 days to the public, the Bear King Brewing Company staff is preparing to welcome customers back inside the Marble Falls brewery and restaurant.

Bear King, located at 207 Avenue G, will reopen at 11 a.m. Friday, May 15, after a long closure under Gov. Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 order.

“We’re cleaning everything up,” co-owner Grant Guidry said said. “We’re resuming normal business hours, from eleven to ten (p.m.) at twenty-five percent capacity.”

Bear King shut down its kitchen on March 26 after Abbott issued his stay-at-home order, which closed many non-essential businesses to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The governor allowed restaurants to continue to serve curbside, delivery, and drive-through. While it had stopped serving food, Bear King offered curbside pickup of its beer.

On April 27, Abbott announced that some non-essential businesses, including restaurant dining rooms, could begin reopen but with certain restrictions, including limiting occupancy to 25 percent capacity.

When Bear King resumes operations Friday, the restaurant can accommodate 50 customers at a time for dine-in.

Though Bear King was closed to the public, Guidry opened the facility, at the restaurant’s expense, to the Highland Lakes Crisis Network to serve as a central location for preparing, collecting, and delivering food. Guidry and the Bear King staff even helped the network volunteers feed more than 500 people across the Highland Lakes each day.

Initially, Guidry offered the restaurant to the Crisis Network for two weeks, but then extended it to three. May 8, the final day the Crisis Network operated out of Bear King, marked five weeks.

“We’re so happy to give back where we’re able to,” Guidry said. “We saw they really needed the space, and it really helped them. I hope for the best for them.”

Naumann said being able to use the Bear King facility was a game changer.

“Bear King has been a huge blessing,” he said. “We’ve been doing this (delivering food) since the first part of March. The second week, it was a big ordeal. And they said, ‘Here’s our entire place, here are the keys to the building.’ To be there and help us, it’s been amazing.”

The Crisis Network has relocated to First United Methodist Church of Marble Falls, 1101 Bluebonnet Drive.

The partnership benefited the brewery as well.

“We got to see firsthand how strong this community is and how well it comes together,” Guidry said. “All these businesses jumped in and helped out. They gave time and labor and lots of meals. We were able to see and get to know the community better, to see how strong this community is when things get crazy.”

For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the DailyTrib.com coronavirus resources webpage.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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