Restaurants, Breweries Get Creative During Crisis

By Jessica Maurer, posted Mar 25, 2020
Chef Dean Neff is raffling off an in-home dinner party to support Love, Lydia bakery and cafe. (Photo courtesy of Dean Neff)
With the coronavirus closure of area eateries, bars and breweries to customers dining or imbibing onsite, many small business owners are getting creative and finding alternative ways to serve the public and continue paying their employees.

Well-known area chefs Dean Neff and Craig Love have each announced that they are raffling off dinner parties (to be held at a later date) to support employees who are either laid off or earning less than normal.

Neff, who is in the process of opening Seabird, a new downtown restaurant at the corner of Market and Front streets, is raffling off an in-home dinner party in support of partner Lydia Clopton’s bakery and cafe, Love, Lydia.

According to a Facebook post about the raffle, the entire amount raised will be split among the Love, Lydia staff, who were laid off March 19. Bidding is open now via Love, Lydia’s Facebook page and will remain open through Sunday, March 29, at 9 p.m‬. 

Love, chef and owner of Surf House Oyster Bar in Carolina Beach, is raffling off an oyster roast and shrimp boil with cocktails for parties of 10 with bids starting at $1,000. The parties are expected to be held before the end of October.

Bids will be accepted via direct message on Facebook or on the Surf House Facebook page until Saturday, March 28, at 8 p.m. He is also raffling off a three-course, in-home cooing class for six people, with a starting bid of $600.

Funds will support all staff members who are furloughed throughout the pandemic. 

While no longer serving its regular menu for take-out, Surf House is offering three- and five-day meal plans for two or four people. Orders must be placed by noon Tuesdays for pick-up on Thursdays and Fridays between 4 and 6 p.m. See for details. 

Wrightsville Beach Brewery has implemented a grocery service, offering many of the foods they typically have on hand for menu items. Orders for produce, breads, meats and poultry and local seafood such as crab cakes, oysters and shrimp can be placed by phone or email, and WB Brewery employees will deliver the groceries to your car when you arrive.

Orders for 10 items or less can be placed over the phone, while larger orders can be emailed to [email protected] Orders placed by 1 p.m. will be available for pick-up the following day. 

Owner Jud Watkins said he has implemented strict safety policies for his employees, noting that they must keep a 6-foot distance from one another at all times, change gloves each time they process or handle a new order (takeout or grocery) and wear masks. 

WB Brewery continues to offer take out options, including a make-your-own take and bake pizza, beer in six-packs and cases, growler fills and bottles of wine. 

Have a tip for Restaurant Roundup? Email us at: [email protected].
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