Like the rest of us Lincoln Fairleigh, owner of Lava Espresso cafe in Phillip, was having trouble keeping up with changes in the hospitality industry so he set up a website cbrstillopen.com that enables venues to list what their current state of play was.
"Hospitality is such a great industry here in Canberra, there's a real sense of community and we're all struggling to think of ways to get the message out to let everyone know what we were all doing."
He flagged the idea of the website on the industry's networking page on Facebook, there was a great response, "and at last count we had 150 listings on the website".
He is still opening Lava Espresso, on Townsend St, Monday to Saturday, 7am til 1pm for their speciality coffee and "famous smashed avo on toast" for takeaway.
"One of the best things to come out of it is that even I've discovered some great little places I didn't even know about," he says.
"But it's been great to see everyone pulling together, talking about what's working for them and what's not working."
If venues wish to add their listing head to the website.
Another website to check out is feedfeed.com which runs like a spreadsheet listing what options - takeaway, pre-order and pick up and home delivery - are available at different businesses. It's updated regularly and also includes links to the latest health and safety advice.
The site was championed by ED, a local creative studio with many links to the hospitality industry. The team behind feedfeed says there's been a great response from the industry with more than 200 venues on board already. Check it out. Buy something.
Drive through delights in Watson
At The Knox in Watson, it's walkie-talkies at the ready as the business transitions from a bustling cafe to a take-away.
When news arrived of an imminent shutdown to all cafes and restaurants in the ACT, staff at The Knox sat down together and brainstormed possible solutions.
Maddie Clarke, the front of house manager at The Knox, said the cafe had been an important meeting point for locals in the Watson area and while that was not now possible, she wanted the business to do what it could to remain an important part of the community.
"A huge part of our business is local and those coffee catch-ups were a point of connection for the community," she said.
"I'm not sure how you can replace that."
She said the cafe was working to keep its "family" together. Casual shifts have been reduced but no staff have been laid off as yet.
The Knox is now in take-out mode with a phone-in and online ordering order system, a walkie talkie from the kitchen inside to a runner outside who brings coffee and snacks out to people in their cars driving through the one-way carpark out front.There's no cash transactions and minimal contact between staff and customers.
"We've simplified our takeaway menu to keep our popular items and classics, like the avo smash and the rostiburger," Ms Clarke said.
Coming soon will be a delivery service in which the business will cater for families with part-cooked take-home all-inclusive meals such as vegetarian lasagne, pizzas and burger packs.
No Biggie meals from top kitchens
Dark kitchens are popping up all over Canberra in response to the coronavirus restrictions put in place over the hospitality industry.
You'll only find cooks and couriers in dark kitchens and a new local enterprise is hoping it might be part of the solution for the struggling industry.
No Biggie is a ready-to-eat food service where meals are made in kitchens of some of Canberra's top restaurants. Venues on board so far include Monster Kitchen and Bar, Assembly, Little Oink, Walt and Burley and The Duxton.
Rather than duplicating their takeaway menus, meals available will include such delights as butternut squash and cauliflower curry, served with saffron pilaf rice and raita; beef bourguignon served with roast garlic, kipfler potatoes and greens; tandoori spiced chicken breast served with vegetable couscous and toasted almonds; Tuscan pork meatballs served with a roasted tomato sauce tossed through spaghetti, fresh herbs and parmesan cheese; and steamed New Zealand hoki fillet, wok greens, fragrant jasmine rice and Thai coconut sauce.
The meals, which can be conveniently heated or frozen for later use, are launching at $10 to ensure that local residents have access to optimal nutrition.
The initiative has been created and coordinated by The Mark Agency in response to the hospitality industry's suffering.
No Biggie Meals are available for pre order from Thursday, March 26. If restaurants and cafes would like to get on board full details can be found on the website.
Rebel Rebel in New Acton will continue to offer takeaway until all its stock is gone. It's selling surplus stock, preserves, pickles and eggs, as well as vacuum-packed bags of its housemade granola and cacao pops. There is also 1kg tubs of delicious housemade icecream. And the bottle shop is fully stocked. Get in quick, they reckon there's a day's worth of trading left.
We've had news of several places closing their doors in recent days. The team at Bar Rochford in the City is taking some time off to spend with family, pulling up stumps. They're thinking about using their takeaway liquor licence at some point so stay in touch at @barrochford.
Molly Bar, Club 88mph and Highball Express are all also taking a well earned break. Amici Bar and Bleachers Canberra are still available for takeaway.
The RUC Turner is closed and will use the time to refresh the club and review the menu. But keep an eye out for some clever online initiatives coming soon.
Aubergine, Griffith, has also closed its doors.
Read more about which Canberra eateries are offering takeaway and delivery here.
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