LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada's liquor stores may be closed, but the demand for alcohol is as high as ever. The owner of ReBAR, a well-known local bar in Las Vegas' Arts District, is looking to capitalize by meeting the community's needs.
Like every other bar in Nevada, ReBAR has been shut down for weeks because of COVID-19. But, instead of waiting for approval to reopen, Derek Stonebarger has built a brand new business, called Boardwalk Liquors.
We're Open: Las Vegas restaurants and businesses
"All these businesses are closed and boarded up. So, we're able to create a drive-thru that is safe and we're able to all social distance," Stonebarger said while pointing out the portion of the parking lane on Main Street that now serves as his drive-thru liquor store. "This is something I know how to do; create a business, bring some people back to work, and provide a service that's desperately needed," Stonebarger added.
The service he's providing is essentially alcohol to-go. With hundreds of beers, wines, and liquors available, orders are placed online and served by staffers on roller skates. Those employees practice strict social distancing by always wearing gloves and a mask, and in most cases, dropping off orders in the backseat or trunk in order to avoid any direct contact with customers.
"This right here, this model, is much safer than a grocery store. These people aren't even leaving their cars and we're bringing them the products and services they need," said Stonebarger.
Boardwalk Liquors offers more than just booze. Every order comes with a complimentary hot dog, which is the item that actually allows Boardwalk Liquors to operate. According to city rules, curbside alcohol sales are only allowed right now with food orders. Boardwalks Liquors also has a small marketplace, offering an assortment of fresh produce and essential items.
"Even if it's something people might not think is a necessity, alcohol or bodega items, we've been able to source a lot of great stuff. From our restaurant suppliers, we now have gloves; we have a few limited masks, we have toilet paper. These are things that we know everyone needs," said Stonebarger.
Now, Stonebarger is hoping his entrepreneurial spirit will inspire other struggling small business owners.
"There's hope out there. And we might just have to tweak ourselves and reinvent ourselves, use some skill sets that we have from the past, to move forward. But, there's revenue to be generated. Some things need to be sold," said Stonebarger.
The drive-thru at Boardwalk Liquors will be open Thursdays-Saturdays from 2 to 7 p.m. for the foreseeable future, and they'll be doing deliveries Mondays through Wednesday as well. To learn more or place an order, click this link.