April 20, 2021

S2:E8 Jason | Cocktails To Go For Pandemic Woes


We've found a common theme among our April episodes: pivoting in the pandemic. This is exactly what our friend Jason has done (and quite well, we might add!). He owns The Long Room, a friendly neighborhood tavern in the Ravenswood Community of Chicago. Inspiration struck when all the bars & restaurants needed to close down, and he began selling bottled-up cocktails to go, which is not only cool but has kept his business thriving! It's also a great way to keep his staff safe which is a top priority for him. We also discuss being a Black-owned business in the wake of George Floyd's murder.

The Long Room, Chicago - https://www.longroomchicago.com/
The Blue Bird Inn (AirBnB) - https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/39821609?guests=1&adults=1&s=67&unique_share_id=8a3408a7-3843-4c90-90e0-e07fe4c2d83a

Transcript
Caroline Amos:

Hi, I'm Carolyn Amos.

Raymond McAnally:

And I'm Raymond McAnally.

Caroline Raymond:

And we are Fatigued (laughter)

Caroline Amos:

I love this part because I can say whatever I want, and I can just cut it out. And it's amazing. I could start wherever we want to start it. We could start on a weird note, we could start on a fun note. We could start on like the Hello, Jason. It's very nice to meet you. Welcome. Thank you for talking to us on our podcast today.

Raymond McAnally:

That's always do best if we could kick off with the most boring introduction possible that tends to grab people's attention and hold them. (laughter)

Jason:

Yeah, I'll give you the most boring response. I can't do I'll do what I can. (laughter)

Caroline Amos:

Oh, excellent. Excellent. Jason, I like that. You're a yes/and kinda guy. You're gonna improvise the hell out of this with us. I love it. Well, Jason, I am so pumped to be talking to you today. I think you are such a cool dude. And your cocktails look so good. I was just scrolling through your Instagram killing time earlier. And I was like, Damn, I want to try all of these - Do you shipped to New York!?

Jason:

I have not done any shipping we have actually we've done a little bit of shipping to friends but shipping by via car or someone's backpack but not packing it up and putting in the mail. Yeah I haven't gotten into that yet with shipping booze across the country.

Raymond McAnally:

Yeah, there's a few laws involved with that one.

Caroline Amos:

Oh, right. Well, when you when you figure out how to do that, like please like throw me on that list. I would love to - I would love to sign up that they just look so they look so fun.

Raymond McAnally:

I mean, the the bottles that you use, I keep referring to it. I know it's not correct, probably. But I keep referring to it as like apothecary style bottles like you. They have an old school vibe. Like it just feels very Chicago. To be honest. Like, yeah, I love the aesthetic.

Jason:

Yeah, the flat the we got very lucky. So when this whole Cocktails To Go program got going. There's legislation that had to pass first. And then we went back once that was available. The kind of architects of the program kind of got in on these large flask 375 millimeter glass through CS distillery here in Chicago. So just pallets and pallets of them. And so we jumped on board and then like our friend Julie, who's designer made the labels for us. And then we got into it. It's been great.

Caroline Amos:

Yeah. So Jason - introductions, I want people to know who the heck you are. You are a bar with food owner. It isn't technically a restaurant or is it a bar?

Jason:

It's a different question. So from the standpoint of the customer, you may not know the difference. But we are a bar. We've been a bar for 21 years. Got here in 1999. And we operated just as a neighborhood tavern, the first 15 years starting to feel kind of a dip off in business and decided to make some changes. I own the building so kind of built out a commercial kitchen next door and decided that I wanted to kind of create a food truck indoors environment.

Caroline Amos:

I like that, food truck indoors!

Jason:

Yeah, I was down in Austin, Texas. Prior to that, I noticed a lot of these bars are freestanding, with a lot of property and land and had like a partnership with a single food truck and stand alone. Let's do that inside. So we started off with two different restaurants that share the space and rotated Beard and Belly and Biscuit Man now it's just Biscuit Man. And we did guest chefs. So to answer your question the long way, we are still a bar, we don't take any money for food, you go to the window and order your food and then they run it out to you. But we work together in many ways. So yeah, it's it's different operations inside the same building.

Caroline Amos:

Nice. And then you're also you're located in Chicago, which is obviously a pretty gigantic city that has gotten pretty affected by COVID. And we understand that you turned this opportunity into really a great opportunity to pivot. Talk to us about what that was like. What was your mentality as a business owner and wanting to take care of your staff?

Jason:

There was just kind of two pronged I guess Initially, the first stage was what do we do in general? We're getting shut down. Everyone has to get on unemployment and then we go home and wait it out. I was in a more cynical side, I think this is going to be a longer run. Initially, they said you know, state order homes going to be safe. Home order was going to be I think two weeks or something.

Caroline Amos:

Oh, yeah, we all remember those days.

Jason:

But I think what

Raymond McAnally:

Because history is filled with those two week plagues. (laughter)

Jason:

Very efficient, you know?

Caroline Amos:

Yeah. Oh, yeah. No.

Jason:

But no, but to answer your question, I think what what really happened was we sat down with the staff initially and said, Nope, here we go. Let's see how this plays out. And obviously want to keep you safe. We want to keep the community safe. The Cocktails to Go, didn't kick in until June but I saw it coming so I knew it was happening. So I was excited about that if we get this opportunity You got to run with this and see if people are up for it. And they were.

Raymond McAnally:

And by that you mean you saw the legislation being passed and allowed it to happen? Because really we're talking about, and a lot of cities have these laws where you cannot leave an establishment with alcoholic beverage you purchased once you have it, that was that?

Jason:

Yeah, so that was the law adjustment. And in a nutshell, yeah, and but they were really specific about the cocktails to go the package goods, they allowed you to kind of wage that license for the short term. So in the beginning, we were just selling kits or a bottle of Maker's Mark, or you know, I'm saying so like, that can only go so far. So with the cocktails to go, what they allowed you to do is as long as you follow the rules, you have to have a label that had your address on it, your license number, all the ingredients, and instructions and a few other things. And so once we saw that kind of coming down the pipe, we just decided it was going to happen. So we so we started working on the labels, and getting going and then once we started to do it realize this is a good way to kind of stay safe, and we're getting PPP money. So we can pay, you know, keep us afloat a little bit and but then we checked in with the staff in August. Here's what happened. So last August, was when the first round of unemployment benefits were supposed to stop, right?

Caroline Amos:

Yeah, well, yeah, I remember those days.

Jason:

So we met in July. And I was just like, Listen, my assumption is come August, you will probably want to come back to work, because unemployment will be up. If I'm wrong, tell me and they're like, I want to come back to work. So we're like, well, let's forget it. Let's just keep doing it. And then Luckily, the they tie up the unemployment, and we just kind of made it work. And

Raymond McAnally:

so what were some of the reasons that folks didn't want to come back to work? Were they safety related 100% safety reasons?

Jason:

Yeah, yeah. 100%. And also to from a business standpoint, to be honest, I don't begrudge any business to do what they have to do an open up but like limited occupancy for a place like ours, is kind of meaningless. I don't know if you haven't been there, but the long, narrow bar 80% of the space is a bar, the bar.

Raymond McAnally:

So there's not much that explains the Name, which we haven't said yet.

Jason:

Yes, it's The Long Room. Correct.

Caroline Amos:

The long the Long Room

Jason:

They call that burying the lead is what we just did.

Raymond McAnally:

Yeah, a lot of people don't understand this, if they haven't worked at all in the restaurant industry, or, or that sort of service industry, you need X amount of tables filled for X amount of hours a day to even break even. So limited capacity, I imagine is a huge issue, if it doesn't come anywhere near that, that yield.

Jason:

Yeah. And also, you're also using up energy. I mean, we were open from eight in the morning until two or two in the morning. So it's a long day to be running AC, running water, just from a basic level, but also to the more you're open, you have to look open, right? So it means we need inventory. But with cocktails ago, we probably need run out when we run out but wanted to have you don't have to have the handles, you know, a million tap handles up and bottles everywhere per display. So we were able to kind of run on a really thin kind of setup and make it work.

Raymond McAnally:

Yeah, that makes total sense. Almost like the food truck version of a bar.

Caroline Amos:

So your staff has come back in August. Have you guys had an opportunity at all to do any indoor dining? I know that there's a lot of it's changing a lot in a lot of different places.

Jason:

Yeah. So at that point during August, I think I think at that stage, they had opened up to 25% indoor, I think within after that they rolled it back, but we didn't even bother with any of it. So once that meeting hit, I think was pretty clear that we were going to be kind of long haul in this and do run tails to go as long as people were interested in it. And then so yeah, so we never did any open closed up. We've always been closed doing pickups only.

Raymond McAnally:

Was there any benefit to that?

Jason:

I think the biggest benefit was emotional, right? So like the staff, you know, I know, people that worked in other places that kind of the emotional impact of Oh, you're back to work. Now. We're closed again. Now we're back to work. Now you closed again and like not Yeah, yeah. where you stand, get off and on and unemployment, all that stuff.

Caroline Amos:

Yeah, that'll take your toll and your confidence too, and probably like it. Even if you know that you're unemployed for good reason, like there being a pandemic, there's still that mentality given that we live in a very capitalist state. There's that mentality that if you are not working and hustling and doing all of that 24 seven that you are somehow less than the best you are less than other people. And so to be stopping and starting and stuff I mean, that's just yeah. emotional toll. He put it really well. I like the way that you said that.

Jason:

Yeah, I think it's significant to me because you're you're balancing like, how do I feel at work in terms of money? Who's gonna come in? How are they gonna make me feel how am I going to feel about the whole Am I going to get sick and get someone else sick, and you have that anyway, just going to the grocery store, you know, in the early stages of this. So I just think that it's an added stress that we didn't need to take on.

Raymond McAnally:

Well, and one of the things that struck me, when you and I talked initially about doing this interview, when you told me that as a, as the owner, that you listened to your staff when they said, We don't feel comfortable doing this, and maybe maybe you felt the same way, you know, and that you guys figured out a way to keep things going, but not put somebody in that position, I immediately thought of at least a handful of friends I have who, you know, they're bartenders at pretty high end places, usually in New York, and they were put in a really awkward, horrible position of deciding, you know, what my long term financial needs, versus what I feel safe with, and a lot of them had to leave jobs that they'd had for years. Because the owner wanted to open back up and they just flat out did not feel safe. This was this was around the time you were making those decisions to last summer. So we're talking way before the benefit of vaccines being out and, and all those sorts of things. Also think about the reason I asked about the benefits was, I know around here in Los Angeles, you know, we have the benefit of it being outdoor weather pretty much most of the time. So we had a lot of opening up an outdoor dining regulations. And then we did have some open and close, open and close. And I know of few restaurant owners who you know, they dropped 20k on getting all that set up. And then we're told you got to shut it down. And I can't imagine the frustration of that, like you told me I could do this. And now you're saying it's not it's that is like you're saying quite a psychological toll.

Jason:

And I'm just selling booze. Imagine if you're a restaurant and you order all this perishable inventory. And then later, sorry, you can't can't can't do this anymore. Now you throw all that food away.

Raymond McAnally:

Oh, I can't even imagine I would not want to be the one responsible for making sure the freezer and everything was stocked every week for a restaurant anyway. But I can't imagine trying to negotiate this. Like just when you kind of understand what your weekly needs are for say nothing but takeout, right? And then all of a sudden, oh, wait, we can open up we can have diners. So how much more do we add back to that? And then once you get that figured out, boom, you're shut down for what I mean. Yeah, that's a lot. I'm thinking I've got an officer now just thinking about

Caroline Amos:

something that's really cool that I'm seeing everywhere in New York is that they have taken up the sidewalk to do outdoor dining. And as the months go on, everybody's upgrading their outdoor dining space, like their spaces are getting really nice. They've got heaters, they've got air conditioning, there's, you can rent a private room on the street. Like it's, it's very cool. And some of them actually like they look really cozy and delightful. But I'm really interested to see, are these going to be available once in a post COVID world? Are these like outdoor establishments are going to is that going to be extra seating extra money for all of these restaurants? Are they going to have to cut those off, give the streets back to all of our cars. And then watch as everybody like and I don't know I'm just really interested to see if that's gonna stick around for a while. I kind of love the fact that it encourages more people being out on the sidewalk like it does encourage it fosters community and connection. I'm in a story of Queens and I actually love the fact like I think it's a little bit terrifying seeing more people out and about on the street but it It's so beautiful to see everybody like celebrating the businesses celebrating the community around especially after watching so many beloved establishments go under Yeah,

Jason:

good point there and i think i don't know i Chicago is Chicago and I don't know how your your accuracy is different than ours but I think it will probably go away for the most part we have allowed that no downtown but I think it's just for traffic reasons and primarily, they just can't sustain it and also just the seasonality here so it's really what are you gonna do with

Caroline Amos:

Oh yeah, well hold

Raymond McAnally:

Chicago is one of them there are areas that the put the spaces that are now the outdoor dining spaces if they have any are the only places for customers to park right? Right The only way to get quick and close access to that particular restaurant so you're now asking customers to park 6 or 7 blocks away and then make make it to the to the restaurant in usually in Chicago weather. Yeah, that's fun. So that yeah, I mean it's there's some really cool things about it, but it Imagine it's a bit of an logistical for sure.

Jason:

But Caroline kind of go back to one of your points though I think, not necessarily related to the restaurant Barbizon, specifically, but I think you hit on a really good point about one of the positive things coming out of this is just the kind of change in energy and the things that we appreciate. And obviously people are forced to being outdoors. Obviously, it's easier where you all live in here. But even here, just for a quick example, on our blog, we live here in Edgewater neighborhood, and there's a big school called sin High School on the corner. And it's a big beautiful campus for high school. And there's a jazz musician that lives on the corner. And near the end of last summer, his courtyard is on the corner of mangled in Glenwood by that park, and his trio would play in that little courtyard, turned into this huge thing every Sunday, where they'd have a little Venmo size you can MIT demo them for the entertainment and people work, it turned into 150 people by the end of the summer, and the police would let it be because it's COVID right now. And I think that kind of energy should continue. Like why would you allow people to be in the streets if they're behaving themselves? You know?

Caroline Amos:

Yeah. Oh, that is so beautiful. I love that.

Raymond McAnally:

That reminds me of some of the viral videos you see of like, you know, people in apartments playing music across the, you know, the way from each other and things like that. I think that's beautiful. Have you seen an uptick in that, even though things are shut down? And people are, are inside a lot? Have you seen an uptick in community involvement with your customer base? Has it? Has it grown?

Jason:

100%. Yeah, no, really, not 100%. But I'm, you know, I'm saying? No, it has been, I think it's been a combination of things. I think. I look at it this way. And people go into this crisis, with similar mindsets, right. And obviously, if you're living somewhere where you're, let's say you let's say you want to you're an extreme, you think it's, you know, a fraud, you know, COVID-19 real, real thing. Let's talk about that. But if you're assuming that the bulk of our clientele are kind of like minded, right, and so they're, they want to stay safe, keep their family safe. So as a neighborhood establishment that they love, and they want to get to, they wouldn't go in, come to see us if we were open, right? Because they want to stay on the stay safe. So they respect that we're staying close. I think the first tier was, oh, wow, the long room is doing what they should be doing what we believe they should be doing. But then on top of that, not just shuttering, but to really turn on a dime, and do really creative things with these cocktails. And really, because we've done I think from the beginning, we started this thing I think we've done like, one cocktail a week since last March, which is a lot.

Caroline Amos:

Whoa, that's a lot of creativity. So

Jason:

it takes a lot of energy. And that's not me, that's that's obviously the team. You know, who are out there doing this. But at the end of the day, it's just been I think people get excited because you're bored, you're at home, you're bored. And now here we go, you know, bring in some new cocktails for you to try. And so people have been into it been supportive, and want to help us. Yeah, all those things are good.

Raymond McAnally:

And is it? Is it that featured cocktail is only available that week? Or does the menu keep growing,

Jason:

it grows to a certain point. So we try to keep it around? Let's think about this about maybe eight large format cocktails, which have three to four cocktails, and we have four or five static pocket cocktails that are individual ones a little cute, 100 milliliter bottle flask. And then we've been bottling carbonated cocktails in house, our GM, Jeff learned how to take barrels like kegs. And make it there. Force carbonate it in house and then you put it on draft and you pour it from a draft comes up. Cool. sanitized really close. Yeah. So we're gonna continue doing that, for sure.

Caroline Amos:

That is so rad. I mean, it's like, Oh, I love anything on tap. So if it's a cocktail on tap, even better, that is so cool.

Jason:

pretty great. So we want to continue doing that after this. For sure. Yeah, how

Raymond McAnally:

much of this? I mean, do you think that this will be a part of the long room? You know, for forever? Is it? Is it gonna go away when COVID?

Jason:

And I don't think so. I think it's been such a dramatic mind. We've been open for 21 years, we've kind of been evolving for a long time just to stay alive, you know. And so, because we've been able to kind of, I wouldn't say reinvent ourselves, but to kind of like stay current and, and do interesting things and be creative. I think with this. I think the reason we didn't do these kind of cocktail, we were definitely a nice cocktail program. But our bar is so big. It's a it's a 60 foot bar. So if you're working there on a Friday, Saturday night, you're running around and we had 18 to 20 draft handles spread,

Caroline Amos:

you get new steps and if you're working behind that bar,

Jason:

right, yep. And so we always were mindful of not making the cocktail list too fussy because it's too much time for that for the I think we're going to change that we're going to cut the beer way down, draft some cocktails with some cocktails and draft you Like, uh, you know, we'll get put a vermouth on graph wine on draft and do all kinds of stuff, maybe two or three cocktails. And hopefully the the cocktails to go will continue. There's legislation to make it permanent. And if that's the case, we'll keep doing that, too.

Raymond McAnally:

That's a game changer, right? That legislation has to stay in has,

Caroline Amos:

you know, what that makes me think about things like prohibition and alcohol, right? Like, it's, you know, it's so fun to go to a prohibition party like bathtub gin, that kind of thing. I love the idea that there's gonna be like pandemic style, like, Hey, we had it, we started bottling cocktails, because there was a pandemic, and people couldn't congregate in bars, like this. There's gonna come a day where there's going to be like pandemic chic. Things, experiences. That's,

Raymond McAnally:

that's an excellent point. Well, if only I could think of Chicago based theme around prohibition. I just don't remember Chicago having any history there at all.

Jason:

Oh, my God.

Caroline Amos:

I also wanted to ask because you talking about this, this immense uptick in customer base, and I was watching some videos and knowing that you're a black owned business. And after all of what's been happening with racial unrest in our country for years been coming to a huge head with George Floyd. Did you see a huge uptick in customers wanting to support your business? And has that been steadily incline? Has that been a steady decline? How's that been? How's that been

Jason:

going? Well, I think that's been a big thing. I think that the thing that I wanted to point out about that is venue for 21 years. And so initially, when I opened the place with my business partner, Clark, who was not black, but behind the bar all, I mean, we literally were only much working shifts for the first five years, exceptional weekend staff. So I think, you know, we had a big, kind of a really loyal customer base, obviously knew who the owners were so but that conversation wasn't something that was on the table at the time wasn't like, Oh, it's black on business support black, this is a very new thing. And by the time, George Floyd was killed, I made a statement online, which wasn't something I was doing very often, kind of coming home and curtains, I knew the end the Instagram account, just because that's what it is. And I so I think what happened was when I did that a lot of the bar who didn't know the person who made the song around, didn't realize I was the owner didn't realize black owned, so people weren't blowing us up on putting us on lists and mentioning us. And so I think it exposed a lot of people, even if they love the place already. Now they loved it more.

Caroline Amos:

That's awesome, though.

Jason:

So I think yes, but a big part of our growth. And I think we'll probably see that after this. When we get open. For sure. I would imagine.

Caroline Amos:

That's, that's, that's incredible. I'm really happy to hear, I'm happy to hear that. I'm happy to hear that you've got business man. Like the fact that you've taken this and you've turned it into something so great. In spite of this being the absolute worst year of all time. I'm just I'm so impressed by you. And I'm so if you could say anything, if you had any advice to give to other business owners in a time like this, would you? Do you have any advice for them?

Jason:

I mean, it's a tough one, because I fully recognize every business is different. And I think that when I said that I don't judge people for doing things differently is because you have the choices that you have, right, and none of us should be in this position, we should have gotten, in my opinion, keep us close as long as you want and give us grants, and is to take out and call today. But that's not the case. So I just think that every business is different, every one I own my building that helps. So even though I've got to pay my mortgage, too, but I recognize that not every business has the same stresses. But I do think that the staff is important, I think, I mean, I would say that i mean i think that seeing what your staff wants to do and supporting that as you can is extremely important and we've always kind of been that way here anyway and so I'm we're a small team we have like maybe 10 people that work here so it's it could be a little more of a family environment but even if you have 50 people I think you have to find ways to reach out and make sure that they're feeling comfortable and safe and and also part of the decision making process because you can no business can be a business without everyone right? I mean I don't care if you own a hardware store unless you're going to work it every day. You need people on the floor to do it and bars in a way you know. I think that's the if you want to ask me for a bit of advice I think involving everyone. This is unprecedented territory and so we don't know and no one knows how to manage this. So work together on it. That's that's what I would say.

Caroline Amos:

Love that. I want that on a T shirt.

Raymond McAnally:

We're also talking about your and we can cut this question out if if you don't if you only want to focus on the Long Room but I'm not sure if I made Caroline aware that the rest of the building is a second business. You have an Airbnb business as well, that has also, didn't you just open? Right before COVID.

Jason:

I got very, very lucky. So check this out. So I own the mixed use building going on. So it's two storefronts. One is our office. One is the bar and behind the office is the kitchen. Now on top of the kitchen off the side is like a frame house sitting on top of three apartments that were all just rental apartments for years, and I had tenants that were bartenders along room, or customers, but over time, I had really cheap rent. And I'm glad I did that for many years. I had someone living up there for 15 years. But what happened was maybe being a good friend and good landlord in that regard. I wasn't a good business person with the building and the building is old. I needed serious repairs and new roof, I got to a point where I had to get alone to take care of those everyone had to go. And I said to myself, well, alright, if I'm really doing this building and redoing plumbing and all this stuff. Do I really want to make some, you know, nice apartments that that are unaffordable, and not someone that people have to live over a bar. So I said, Look, I really sat about thinking about it for a while and said that, uh, excuse me that I always wanted to do a hotel meet my friend john, we're looking to a little boutique hotel years ago, but it was you know, having to raise a lot of money. And so like I said, let me do this here on a small scale. So yeah, cuz when you bought when you and john, we're partners, Airbnb, that option didn't exist. Well, it's funny. You mentioned that yeah. So they're all the license structures for for any kind of hotel in Chicago, there is vacation rental which gets you Airbnb, hotel license, and then a bed and breakfast license was the only license you can use and do this. If you do a bed and breakfast you have to live on the on the on the premises, hotel license, you have all kinds of rules that we can't, you know make happen like but you know, fire escapes and different levels of egress and stuff. So the vacation rental was the way to go. But there's been legislation in Chicago to limit Airbnb ease in certain numbers building, which I get, I think it's a good idea. So I had to jump through some city hoops and get approval to the city to get all three November 9 2019. I got open, thank God. Because if it were a few months later, I don't think I'd be sitting here talking to you right now I'd have no income coming in. So that's been doing very well up there, which is great. So it's called Bluebird in. And the idea was to kind of be a part of this whole kind of hospitality experience in the building where you have come down at breakfast and cocktails and coffee, and nightcap and go back upstairs. And it's just a beautiful, beautiful space. So it's been really really, really great.

Raymond McAnally:

I can't wait to stay there. Yeah,

Caroline Amos:

I love that name. That's so sweet Bluebird Inn

Jason:

Where we used to be the bar was called Bluebird Liquors Incorporated. That's the old Tavern that was there. Before that. We had to assume that they were technically by law, Bluebird liquors Incorporated. Doing business. That's a long room. That's why through Bluebird and up there, that'd be really cute.

Caroline Amos:

Yeah, that's really sweet. I love that.

Raymond McAnally:

And you were able, I know, you told me before you were able to figure out a time to open up to rentals, even in the Airbnb. So you you've navigated that as well during the pandemic.

Jason:

Yeah, so it was kind of a really scary moment. So in March 15, I think it was when the city said we got to close down. And I'd been open upstairs for a couple months, few months. It was kind of getting going a little bit, but it got to the point where I had bookings from March through June solid 100%. Now using this accurately now 100% of them cancelled. for good reason. The beginning of Yeah, so I was lucky in round maybe April May to get some people that were coming to visit family couldn't stay with them and just kind of kind of rented for a month or so. But then comes a lie. I got really busy and kind of busy up there ever since. So people trapped. Wow.

Caroline Amos:

That's great. Have you had a ton of essential workers needing to quarantine there at all? Has that ever happened?

Jason:

That did not happen. I got one request from a couple medical care professionals but they they've just inquired and must have found something else earlier. But yeah, that would have been a cool thing too.

Raymond McAnally:

Ya know, one of the things around here has been people, you know, wanting to at least stare at a different four walls. So they actually live in Los Angeles, but they'll rent an Airbnb in Los Angeles just to see another place for a week.

Jason:

Yeah, I've got a lot of that I've gotten people. I think right now it's been primarily people coming to visit their kids or something. I get a lot of people working like from LA. asked a lot of you from Austin for some reason, and New York coming to work that say their company has an office here. They're going to come work here. And just like you said, you have a different set of walls. Look at what they're doing the work. So that's been great. I love that kind of customer up there. Yeah, so

Caroline Amos:

that's great and it couldn't be above a better bar. Ah,

Jason:

come on.

Caroline Amos:

I say this man, I also I wanted to ask, just just going back to the cocktails because they just look so scrumptious and fun. And there's, there's something about alcohol that I think is hilariously delightful where it's sort of like you've as you become an adult, you access a new level of like a treat. Yes, like a fun little like, like a little snack a little. You know, there's something so fun about that. And these are delicious. Do you have a particular favorite? And why?

Jason:

That's a great question to treat is a good way to look at it. Because I think what's happening to people is, they're used to going to their favorite bar and getting a whatever cocktails and list now that's gone, right? And so you don't have to take it home, realize you can't make it at home. So we've been really been a little fuzzier about it. I think one of the things that we've done just to start off with that, I think one of an all time favorite is rooted in one of the additions. So Ryan and Jeff started working on shrubs, I'm not sure we know what shrubs are, but I love a shrub grade. So drinking, I have no idea what that is. It's essentially a drinking vinegar. So it's like a reduction of vinegar and sugars. And then however you want to flavor it. So we've had a raspberry lemon shrub, a, a bell pepper for up for more, you know, kind of a vegetal cocktail. Probably one of the first cocktail we did with the shrub was Jeff's he I think was called Bumble bird. And this is an all time favorite, I think so this was a considered Elgin. He made a honey simple syrup. And when the shrub was blueberry, sage, and honey as well, I think the different honey in there. And that enlightened lime juice. And that's been great. And then

Raymond McAnally:

kind of alchemy Are y'all doing it's gr

Jason:

Otherwise, we couldn't do this. But we may try to do these things when you open up again. A d like because we, Ryan and Je f worked on these formulas, y u know how not to get too fus y about how it's done. But y u've got a barn and it's shaken and stirred up, what's happ ning is you are diluting wa er in your cocktail to make it alanced. And then you pour, r ght so in order to make that h ppen, if you mixed a cocktail to go with no water in it, it's go ng to be off. So they worked out the left the number of g ams of water that get diluted in an average stir or shake. A d so now we add that amount of w ter in grams to the to the batc of booze and you pour it in y that way, when you get it home you just take it out of your freezer, just pour it you don' have to shake.

Raymond McAnally:

That's so impressive. So that's chemistry that's like I and I have no appreciation for it or ability to do it, I guess is a better way of saying it because I am a poor whiskey and a glass. Pop open the beer kind of kind of person. Like even, we have friends who we have a friend who claims I make the best. gin and tonic. And the truth is I put I I put in for ice cubes. And then I pour the gin up to the top of the ice cubes. And then put in like a splash

Jason:

of top. That sounds delicious as far as I can.

Raymond McAnally:

Cuz all I know how to do is drink straight like

Caroline Amos:

that I also think needs to be noted Raymond that every time we talk about anything regarding math or science, you are always so quick to be like, I am not good at this.

Raymond McAnally:

Yeah, it's cool taught me that, oh, my degrees are in our

Caroline Amos:

green signal episode. I'm like, Oh, there goes Raven talking about how he's bad at science again.

Raymond McAnally:

talking to people who do know it, because I love I'm interested in it. But my brain like it's not even an eyes gloss over thing my brain just goes and just

Jason:

shuts down. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Caroline Amos:

Well, Jason, we always love to round out with a little bit of hope. And honestly, frankly, talking to you, this has been an absolutely delightful conversation. I don't feel I don't feel scared of the world after talking to you. But I want to know, what is giving you hope? What is getting you through this right now?

Jason:

Yeah, I mean, I that's a great question. I think, obviously, vaccine has been exciting. I think I kind of try to be kind of kind of glass half full about this. Because you know, we were talking about this six, seven or eight months ago, and we all didn't know the vaccine by now. Right? So yeah, I like to lean on the fact that yes, this has been over a year. But this is exciting that we have this opportunity now. And I'm hoping that people, obviously a lot of nasty stuff has happened socially and culturally, in the midst of this, you know, magnified by the fact that people are anxious and isolated. But I'm hoping that that doesn't blow up Powder Keg situation where I'm sure there will be some of that but I'm hoping that there'll also be some you know, when you go to a sporting event, and you see some unlikely people next to each other hugging because yeah, their team did something exciting. It's their team and other rock each other I'm hoping we get a lot more of that. You know, people just excited to be around other people and and saying hello And meeting each other and shaking hands hugging people, you know all that stuff. So I'm looking forward to what that's going to bring for people that kind of because isolation, even if you're with someone you care about, not being able to hug someone else for this law is unusual. And so I think that even your own friendship groups, I've noticed that when we have little backyard Gavin friends, like it's exciting doing simples thing.

Caroline Amos:

Yeah,

Jason:

having drinks. And, you know, I just think that that's going to, you know, make people appreciate each other. You know, the people we love already more, and I'm hoping that sticks around.

Caroline Amos:

I love that. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Caroline Raymond:

Hey, this is Caroline and Raymond. Thank you so much for listening to Fatigued - from patients to paramedics, long haulers to lessons learned. Sure, it's the same virus but these are very different stories. If you have a question or a story you'd like us to address on an episode, please email us at fatigued podcast@gmail.com. And don't forget to check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter - Clubhouse - right clubhouse What is that? I don't even know But whatever it is, we're here to offer genuine conversations so we can humanize the issues surrounding COVID and the pandemic. These stories deserve the space to be remembered and we relish the opportunity for connection in this isolated time. Perhaps you will to stay positive test negative and thanks for listening. Bye