Topeka restaurants adding brunch hours to help financially during pandemic

FOX 43 News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Brunch used to be all the rage on the weekends. Restaurants have been constantly changing the way they operate through this pandemic, especially as guidelines keep changing.

In Shawnee County, restaurants and bars currently have to close at 10 p.m.

“With COVID-19 and them continuing to mess with our closing hours, it just made sense to maybe open up, occasionally, a little bit earlier,” Jared Rudy said, co-owner of Norsemen Brewing Company. “Because they don’t tend to mess with the early hours.”

So, what better way to get business done earlier than to bring in brunch? Norsemen Brewing in NOTO started the year off with their new menu, while others like Iron Rail brought back their breakfast options.

“It honestly kind of came down to the pandemic and everything,” said Lindsey Skinner, general manager at Iron Rail Brewing. “We had to make some calls because we just closed down for to-go business and brunch items don’t really carry that well doing that. So, now we’re ready to bring it back with the n ew year and hope for the best. We’re just happy to still be open and get through everything that is going on. I see a brighter future though.”

In September, Fortune Magazine found nearly 100,000 businesses that started with a temporary closure, ended up making the decision permanent.

“As a business owner, you always look for different ways to get more people in here, to see what you’re about,” Adam VanDonge, owner of The White Linen. “And some people might not be the fine dining dinner people that we focus on. But some people might be brunch lovers. So it will get both sets of crowds in here.”

While the opening hours and menus give people the chance to safely enjoy a local meal, it’s also a way to make sure we will still see these local businesses survive through this pandemic.

Norsemen Brewing offers brunch on Sunday’s from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Iron Rail’s brunch menu comes back on Jan. 9., and is offered on Saturday’s and Sunday’s 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The White Linen’s brunch is once a month, usually falling on the first weekend of the month, however, the owners are making accommodations for the Valentine’s Day weekend. Reservations can be made here.

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