Best Curbside or Takeout Experience During COVID-19: Blue River Bistro
To Jay Beckerman, owner of Blue River Bistro in Breckenridge, it all came so fast back in March. Developments and information on the novel coronavirus weren’t coming in day by day or week by week, but second by second.
The unprecedented situation made Beckerman consider whether to shut down the restaurant. The restaurant voluntarily closed a few days prior to state and municipal mandates. In the months that followed, Beckerman said the Blue River Bistro team pledged to provide the same standard of service and value to customers, whether in a to-go box or inside the restaurant.
“That was really the driving factor … if we’d be doing one carryout a day or 400,” Beckerman said.
Soon enough, the restaurant saw an outpouring of support from the local community. As Blue River Bistro tried to surf the wave and stay in business amid the pandemic, Beckerman said his expectation of about 40 dinners a day was shattered — and the restaurant was humbled.
“The fact was we were doing 400 meals a day,” Beckerman said. “And only having 4,000 residents in town, it was just such an emotional time for everyone. It made you kind of remember why you are part of a small town and the value of it.
“When times are good, we support every nonprofit that we can. And when the cards are down, and all those people come running to your side, it was an emotional experience. Just seeing all those people that you’ve always seen over the years coming into the restaurant, pulling up curbside and dropping dinner for their family in the backseat — it was a really fantastic experience in a very uncertain, scary time.”
Beckerman said he believes Summit locals made a concerted effort to support the business during the pandemic, purchasing Blue River Bistro meals in situations when they’d normally opt for something else.
“So many locals forged extreme friendships with my team and myself,” he said. “They’ve become part of the family. We weren’t a charity case. But we made it easy, delicious, and I think people supported us.”
When drafting the restaurant’s plan for curbside and takeout service, Beckerman said they worked to package the food so that when guests got home, they had a similar experience to a dine-in meal.
Blue River Bistro carefully placed its meals in biodegradable packaging that kept things hot or cold, traveled well and presented as close to the restaurant product as possible. With this in mind, the restaurant brought back an old favorite, the tortellini carbonara, and a few other items including a trademark shellfish dish.
“That’s something we really wanted, where, in restaurant, when we serve our guests the plates placed in front of them, they ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh,'” Beckerman said. “(They say) ‘Wow, that looks beautiful.’ We wanted to replicate that when they got home.”
Blue River Bistro is at 305 N. Main St. in Breckenridge.
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