Mountain Tap Brewery is offering COVID-19 proof dining in gondola’s this winter
During the first lockdown we had the first restaurant in the Netherland to serve food corona proof in small greenhouses for 2 persons. Which was a great choice as we have a lot of big greenhouses all over the Netherlands. It has been used in several sizes and at different locations in the Netherlands. As are the dining pods which are used as hotel rooms or as small private dining booths during winter time and which are also corona proof. Now we spotted Mountain Tap Brewery, located in the mountain ski resort town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where winter low temperatures often reach below freezing and snow piles up by the feet. Faced with the likelihood of extremely limited capacity for indoor seating due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mountain Tap Brewery brainstormed a creative use of its spacious patio to accommodate winter guests. In the autumn of 2020, the brewpub transformed several out-of-use gondola cars into private seating booths and installed them on the patio. It might be an idea for all the restaurants located in ski resorts in Europe as well. We have been spotting gondel sauna’s and in 2009 we wrote an article about world’s smallest restaurant the Genussgondel in Fiss, Austria where you could enjoy dinner in a gondola lift. With a maximum four people, you enjoyed a three course dinner with a spectacular view over the Tyrolean mountains. When I started skiing in the seventy’s, the first lifts we used were open ‘bins’ in Italy, those could be used outside by après ski bars to keep social distance! 😉 ^Marjolein
COVID-19 proof dining in gondola’s
The gondola cars previously shuttled skiers at Killington Ski Area in Vermont. The ski area upgraded the cabins on its K1 lift in 2018, and the old cabins eventually made their way to Colorado. Mountain Tap Brewery worked with a gondola restoration company called The Gondola Shop in Fruita, Colorado to obtain three gondola cabins. Much of the mechanical equipment in the cabins – such as the door mechanisms and cables – was removed. Then the cabins were equipped with a heater, twinkly lights, a table and a bluetooth speaker. The gondola’s original bench seating remains intact.
“2020 was a challenging year for businesses, to say the least,” said Mountain Tap Brewery brewmaster and co-owner Rich Tucciarone. “Going into winter with limited indoor seating was daunting. We needed to have a little fun with our plan. We thought this unique concept of utilizing our outdoor patio for additional seating in gondola cabins would provide us and our guests with that fun factor, while also keeping everyone safely distanced… and we were correct!”
While the pandemic and its resulting seating restrictions is what prompted the gondola cabin seating idea, Mountain Tap’s owners believe the cabins will help them increase their profitability for winters to come. They worked with the City of Steamboat Springs to permanently permit the use of the gondolas on the patio every winter.
“More than half of our summer seating is outdoors on the patio,” said Mountain Tap Brewery general manager and co-owner Jeff Goodhand. “Space and seating are always the limiting factor in the wintertime, even without restrictions. Throughout the pandemic, we have focused on the good that can come out of it. With challenges come opportunities, and we’ve been super excited to welcome guests to a totally new experience this winter!”
Website: Mountain Tab Brewery