Venues get creative with virtual bar crawls & other events during coronavirus crisis
By Alexa Santos, Digital Producer
Since just about everyone is looking for entertainment while social distancing, bars and other venues have come up with creative ways for you to have some fun.
Some of those ideas include virtual bar crawls and happy hours.
The Better Man Distilling Company in Patchogue on Long Island has had two successful virtual bar crawls in recent weeks.
They’ve been so popular that available tickets have been selling out in a matter of hours.
Head of operations Abby Grupposo says she got the idea a couple weeks ago. "I just went for it, and planned the first one in less than 24 hours. The other restaurants were super excited to do it."
"We sold out in six hours, and people are still asking me if I can fit them in, if there’s any way they can join. They’re just going to have to wait until next week, I guess," Grupposo said.
Here’s how it works for the Better Man Distilling Company crawls:
Register for a daytime crawl, a nighttime crawl, or both.
During the crawl hours, participants get a delivery every hour with food and drinks from different Patchogue restaurants and bars.
There’s live music performances and other entertainment streaming on Instagram during the crawl. All of this is meant to bring the group together, while still socially distancing!
"People in Patchogue love living here because it's so lively, and there’s always something to do," Grupposo said. "Now with everyone having to stay at home, we're sort of missing that. That's why I wanted to start this, so people could feel like they’re still part of the community, even though they’re by themselves."
While the crawls are a great time for the guests, they also give the small businesses of Patchogue a much-needed lifeline during this difficult time.
Grupposo said, "As a new small business, it was really important that we stay afloat during this time, or else we would be done for. I knew we had to get creative."
"The support for local small businesses in this area has been completely overwhelming recently," Grupposo said. "If we didn’t have that, a lot of the small businesses that make Patchogue what it is wouldn’t be here when this is all over."
People near and far have taken notice of the creative idea. So far,The Better Man Distilling Co. has gotten calls from other areas on Long Island, Colorado, and Virginia.
"I'm glad I can help other people out," Grupposo said. "These people are calling me and saying 'Our town needs something to keep it going, we're struggling right now.'"
At least in Patchogue, residents have these virtual bar crawls to look forward to every weekend until this crisis is over.
Here are some other locations in the tri-state offering virtual happy hours, bar crawls, and similar events:
Taproom Live: a virtual bar featuring happy hours, classes, trivia, and more.
The Boogie Down Hour from The Bronx Brewery: online events series with special guests.
CorkBuzz Wine: virtual wine classes.