Mark Fischer wants to keep a service-industry tradition intact, even if it requires a few modifications.
For as long as The Pullman’s owner and chef can remember, the restaurant’s hosts, servers, bartenders, cooks and dishwashers have always enjoyed a pre-shift meal together before working the dinner rush.
“It’s a tradition that most restaurants share,” Fischer said. “Even though we can’t all sit down together this weekend, we can at least make food for people to take.”
On Tuesday, a state public health order forced restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters and casinos to close for 30 days in an effort to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
Food and beverage establishments, however, can still offer takeout and delivery during the mandatory closure period.
On March 21 and 22, The Pullman will provide a “family meal” to restaurant, bar and hotel workers whose industry — like so many others — has been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
While the original intent of the family meal was to provide a semblance of the tradition to service-industry workers, Fischer said The Pullman would help anyone in need.
“I think that most people that work in this business know what family is and what it means,” Fischer said.
People can pick up a family meal at The Pullman’s side door on the corner of Seventh Street and Cooper Avenue in downtown Glenwood Springs from 2-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“I’ve got a full walk-in (refrigerator) and a bunch of people that we’re trying to keep busy,” Fischer said. “This might be a good way to manage both.”
Fischer said The Pullman was adhering to the state’s public health order and asked those picking up food to do the same.
Pasta with a side of soup or salad was the tentative plan for this weekend’s family meal.
People picking up food can also leave a $5 donation that will go toward future installments of the tradition.
However, Fischer said the family meal would be free for those who needed it to be.
Additionally, a gofundme page has been created for community members that would like to help keep the tradition intact.
As of Friday morning, the gofundme had already raised $1,325 of its $5,000 goal.
The Pullman, like many other restaurants and drinking establishments, will still offer curbside pickup and delivery too.
“There are people that need to eat and we have food that I would really like to make tasty,” Fischer said.