By Hannah Reale
In times of self-quarantine, The Heights Bar & Grill has figured out what people want.
On Wednesday afternoon, General Manager Joost Charlow put up a sign advertising “FROZEN MARGS TO GO” and the restaurant’s phone number to place an order. The Heights is on Broadway between 111th and 112th.
“I’ll be honest, Mel’s Burger Bar across the street put up a sheet that let people know that they were still open, so I was gonna do that anyway, but when Cuomo put out a press release saying that bars and restaurants could serve alcohol to go, along with their food, I figured that was the most important thing to let people know about,” Joost told the West Side Rag on Thursday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that bars and restaurants are temporarily allowed to sell alcohol to-go while sit-down options are prohibited.
The Heights has long been a popular spot with Columbia and Barnard students. They’re now operating at reduced hours, open from 12 to 9 every day.
“We’re planning to stay open as long as it’s financially feasible for us,” Joost went on. “We’re trying to keep our overhead as low as possible. At least for now, we obviously have a decent amount of food and alcohol in stock, so we’re gonna be open as long as it takes to get rid of that and then, depending on how much our sales have been, we might do small reorders or go to a condensed menu. We’re trying to stay open as long as we can and, you know, try to help the neighborhood out.”
Business got a big bump in the hours after he put up the sign for the frozen margaritas. It’s $10 for a normal frozen, $11 for flavored (peach, mango, passion fruit, strawberry, raspberry).
“Most people aren’t working, so they’re still trying to go outside for a little bit, go for a walk or something, and grab a frozen margarita on their way home,” Joost said. “We’ve been in the neighborhood since the late ’90s. We’ve fought through storms and a fire and we’re going to do everything we can to stay open, and if a frozen margarita can help some people who are otherwise very bored and trying to get through quarantine, then we’ll try to do our part.”