Thirsty in LA: Coronavirus Edition

Cocktails to go at Melrose Umbrella Co

Cocktails to go at Melrose Umbrella Co | Photo: @melroseumbrellaco

As this post goes live, Los Angeles is entering the first full week of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer At Home” emergency order. To help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), residents are required to stay at home with limited exceptions for groceries, medicine, and caring for immediate family.

The order temporarily closes everything from shopping centers to museums and prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people in an enclosed space. Shortly after Garcetti’s order was announced, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay-at-home order.

While the impact of these orders on the daily lives of Angelenos has been profound, the effect on those who work in the hospitality industry has been devastating. Restaurants are considered “essential” businesses and can continue to offer takeout, curbside pickup or delivery – no dine-in service. And the CA ABC has issued a Notice of Regulatory Relief that allows restaurants and bars with Type 47 or Type 41 licenses to sell cocktails and bottles (wine, beer, spirits) for pickup or delivery – as long as there’s food purchased with the order.

While this softens the blow somewhat for Los Angeles business owners – even a little revenue is better than none – the majority of local bar and restaurant staff have been laid off as a result of the temporary closures. Although Garcetti’s order is in place until April 19, it’s “subject to extension” as the coronavirus outbreak continues to rapidly evolve.

For those who have the means – along with numerous brands and nonprofit organizations that have stepped up to support hospitality workers in need – there are numerous opportunities to help those that have taken care of so many of us.

Whether you’re looking for ways to support your local bartenders – or are in need of assistance yourself – please stay safe, stay healthy, and STAY HOME.

ABTG VIII Class Photo 2019 by Eugene Lee

ABTG VIII Class Photo 2019 by Eugene Lee

Nonprofit Organizations

Art Beyond the Glass COVID-19 Relief Fund
Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG), the Los Angeles based nonprofit that showcases bartender artistry at special events in L.A. and across the country, has announced a new partnership with Community Partners as a grantee of its Fiscal Sponsorship program.

In response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry, ABTG is pivoting its arts-based fundraising mission and launching the Art Beyond the Glass Fund in order to support bartenders suffering financial hardship due to loss of employment or reduced work hours. According to SipScience, more than 700,000 bartenders are currently out of work in the U.S. alone.

Bartenders in need of financial support as a result of COVID-19 can apply for a grant at the ABTG website. ABTG grants will initially be available only to hospitality workers based in L.A. County.

Bartender artists and musicians can apply to participate in online art sales and streaming music showcases. To participate, fill out the Art & Music Submission Form.

Industry brands, non-industry companies, and individuals interested in supporting the bartender community during this crisis can make a donation to ABTG at this page.

For more information, visit the ABTG COVID-19 Relief Fund page. Follow ABTG on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Imbibe has compiled an extensive list of organizations across the country that are providing assistance to hospitality workers in need, from the USBG National Charity Foundation to L.A.-based Another Round Another Rally.

Spirits brands have announced major donations to these vital organizations – Jameson was one of the first, announcing a $500,000 pledge to the USBG NCF just before St. Patrick’s Day. Other donors include Beam Suntory / SGWS ($1M), Brown-Forman ($1M to USBG NCF, Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, and others), Diageo ($1M to USBG NCF) and Patron ($1M to Another Round Another Rally, CORE, and James Beard Foundation)

LiveWire, the newly-launched line of canned cocktails from Aaron Polsky featuring his recipes along with an all-star roster of LA bartenders, is donating 10% of its proceeds to the USBG NCF Bartenders Emergency Assistance Program. LiveWire is currently available at Bar Keeper, The Liquor Fountain and Thunderbolt with more locations TBA.

An initiative of USBG SoCal, PROJECT: CORNERSTORE is a relief effort that joins together locations, brands, and volunteers to provide relief packs to hospitality workers. Relief packs include essentials such as produce, rice, beans, eggs, snacks, toilet paper, etc. All packs are vegetarian. 

PROJECT: CORNERSTORE is first come, first-served and open to all hospitality workers, including servers, barbacks, bussers, line cooks, preps, hosts, maître d’s, floor managers, event planners, caterers, concierges, dishwashers, and security.

Another Round Another Rally
Campari America has announced a $1M donation to the L.A.-based nonprofit Another Round Another Rallywhich is raising emergency funds for hospitality workers in restaurants, bars, and hotels across the U.S. Apply for relief or make a donation at the ARAR website. You can apply for aid in Spanish by telephone Monday-Friday 6:30-9:30pm EST at 480-702-1669.

Hospitality Relief Dashboard
BarMagic founder Tobin Ellis has created a Hospitality Relief Dashboard for North America, including an interactive map for local resources as well as U.S. national links


Unemployment checks and grant funds may take weeks to arrive. In the meantime, bars throughout Los Angeles and across the country have set up GoFundMe pages to raise funds for staff who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This list of LA bars will be updated as more fundraisers are announced.

Other Ways to Support

  • 1933 Group – The bar collective is offering Dining Bonds – like a savings bond, you purchase a Dining Bond at a discounted value to be redeemed for face value at a future date. Pick your favorite 1933 bar and buy an $80 bond that’s worth $100. There’s no expiration date and 100% of revenue goes straight to bar staff.
  • Bibo Ergo Sum – 10% of gift card sales will go to the Bibo team until they are able to reopen. 
  • Redbird – The DTLA restaurant has created an Employee Relief Fund, with 100% of gift card sales through the end of March going to financially support their team.
  • The Spare Room – While you’re cooped up at home, why not play an old fashioned game for a cause? The Spare Room’s custom Mad Libs are available for $10 (+ shipping) with 100% of net proceeds from sales benefitting The Spare Room’s staff.
Food kit from No Us Without You

Food kit from No Us Without You | Photo: @nouswithoutyou

No Us Without You
Va’la Hospitality has launched No Us Without You to support the families of undocumented back of house employees – dishwashers, bussers and prep cooks. The crew will assemble food kits ($33 each) designed to help feed a family of four for a week. The kits include rice & beans (5 lbs each), 2 dozen eggs, 1 gal milk, 10 lbs potatoes, 2 lbs chorizo, 10 lbs onions, 5 lbs oranges, and 5 dozen corn tortillas. Follow @nouswithoutyou for updates and the PayPal link to donate shopping funds.

Free Meals & Discounts

Thunderbolt – Follow @thunderbolt on IG for announcements on a limited number of meals donated by brands and anonymous donors.

Employees Only – EO has announced it will be passing out free “staff meal” kits for all hospitality employees from 5pm-8pm. Pick up at 7953 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood 90046. Look for the white building with the green awning.

  • There will be 100 meals available each night until EO is no longer able to sustain this financially
  • Staff meals are offered on a first come, first served basis with a limit of 2 per person
  • Each person participating will need a valid ID and paystub or paperwork to prove their recent employment at a restaurant/bar/hotel/cafe/coffee shop
  • Social distancing (6 feet apart) will be required for all people standing in line

Restaurant Workers Relief Program – In collaboration with the LEE Initiative (Let’s Empower Employment), legendary LA chef Nancy Silverton has partnered with Maker’s Mark to give away dinners to restaurant workers in need. The Restaurant Workers Relief Program will be offered at chi SPACCA (6610 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles 90038) every night during the quarantine period for as long as it’s financially sustainable.

  • Dinners are offered on a first come, first served basis.
  • Limit 2 to a person unless there is an emergency situation.
  • Pick up time is 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
  • Everyone must show proper ID and have identifying paperwork to prove recent employment at a restaurant. 

The program is also giving away supplies like diapers, wipes, baby food, canned foods, TP and more. 

Osteria La Buca – If you’re in the hospitality industry, you’ll get 50% off to-go orders from the “Corona Break” Menu, Marketplace & Grocers.

One of the best ways to support local restaurants that are still open is by ordering directly or through a delivery app. Visit dineL.A. To Go for a running list of restaurants offering takeout, curbside pickup and delivery.

Cocktails to go at Melrose Umbrella Co

Cocktails to go at Melrose Umbrella Co | Photo: @melroseumbrellaco

Cocktails, Spirits and More to Go

This list will be updated as more cocktails to go offerings are announced!

BG (Postmates, Grubhub) – Available daily 4:30pm – 9pm for take out, curbside pickup and delivery. Pre-batched cocktails to go (32 oz each, serves 8): Piggy-Black Manhattan, Negroni, Mezcal Negroni, Old Fashioned, and Vesper.

Block Party Highland Park (delivery via Caviar) – Open daily noon-10pm. Draft beer, hard seltzers, high ABV booch, small production wine, bottled cocktails, and canned craft brews.

Cassell’s (Chownow et al) – Single cocktails ($5 each) and batched quarts ($40) available at the K-town location for pick-up or delivery: Moscow Mule, Golden Margarita and Old Fashioned.

The Formosa (Postmates, DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub) – Delivery available 3pm-9pm daily. Quarantiki Cocktails: Mai Tai (16 & 32 oz), 16 oz Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule (16 & 32 oz), Mommy Dearest (16 & 32 oz).

Here & Now (Postmates) – Cocktails to go include a 2:1 Mulholland Vodka Quarantini and a 2:1 Fords Gin Quarantini.

Hippo (Caviar) – Priced at just $9 each, cocktails to go include Vodka or Gin Collins, Hippo Old Fashioned, Mariachi On the Beach, Espresso Martini, and Back On Our Bullshit.

Jar (Postmates) – Cocktail Kits include Margarita with 1 bottle Maestro Dobel; Serengeti with Rough Rider Rye; and “Naughty” Martini with Purity Vodka. Bottles available to go a la carte.

L.A. Bodega on Wheels – Launched on April 7, the L.A. Bodega on Wheels is offering “self-isolation salvation” with goods from a collection of local businesses: 101 Coffee Shop, Coolhaus, Future Gin, MiniBar Hollywood, and VERVET. This mobile bodega pop-up features an assortment of prepared food, beverages, booze, sweets, produce, and pantry staples (including TP!). 10% of proceeds will be evenly divided and donated to Another Round Another Rally, Opportunity Fund’s Small Business Relief Fund, L.A. Regional Food Bank, and No Us Without You. $50 minimum, place your orders by 2pm for next-day delivery.

Little Dom’s (Caviar) – “Pan-Domic 2020 Menu” includes 16 oz mason jar cocktails – makes four drinks, just add ice: Moscow Mule, Dirty Gin or Vodka Martini, Penicillin and Margarita.

Lowboy (Caviar) – To-go cocktails ($10 single / $24 triple): Lowboy Old Fashioned, Lil’ Manhattan, Mezcallin, and Hibiscus Gimlet. Available daily 5pm – 10pm. Cocktails offered for curbside pick-up only, Caviar TBC.

Madre (DoorDash, Ubereats, GrubHub) – Options for 1 quarter cocktail mix (6 people), half-quarter (up to 3), and individual cocktails: Smokey Margarita, Smokey Mule, Chapo & Kate, Margarita, and Paloma. Michelada mix (serves 6), six packs of beer, wine, and mezcal bottles also available.

Melrose Umbrella Co (Postmates and DoorDash) – Tue-Sun noon-9pm. 16 oz cocktails serve four each: Melrose Mule, Mezcali Me Banana, Penicillin and Margarita. 750 ml Umbrella Old Fashioned serves 9.

Mister O’s – Pre-mixed cocktails to-go (4 servings/16oz, 8/32oz): Mister Old Fashioned, G-Wagon, Elyx Mule, Forbidden Garnet, East Manhattan, Paloma Salvaje, French 75 (32oz, comes with sparkling wine bottle), Mister O’s Margarita (32oz). Discounted wine and liquor, takeout, limited groceries and supplies also available. Pickup Tuesday-Saturday from noon to 7pm. Send orders to [email protected].

Pretty Dirty (Tock) – Launching with four classics: Margarita, Daiquiri, Negroni and Manhattan available as pre-batched cocktails to-go. Four serves for citrus or five serves for aromatic cocktails. Pour, stir or shake, and serve! Orders for the next day need to be in by 10pm the day prior.

The Raymond 1886 (DoorDash, Postmates, GrubHub) – Three cocktails prepared in Mason Jars: 1886 Negroni (gin, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Campari, orange oil); Little Italy (rye whiskey, Carpano Antica, Cynar) and the Fair & Warmer (rum blend, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, house curacao, lemon oil). Four servings each for $45. Available Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Ronan (Postmates, DoorDash, Caviar) – Daily noon-8pm. 5.5 oz Margarita, 6 oz Rickey Menage with Fords Gin, Amari Stoudemire for two (Campari, Cynar, Gin, Braulio, Cocchi Americano, orange bitters blend).

Tesse (Postmates, Tock) – Craft cocktails to-go, each serves 4: Moscow Mule, Paloma, The Sun Also Sets, and Démodé. Delivery also includes liquor, wine, beer, and an extensive Tesse Market inventory with prepared entrees, veggies, meats, dairy, baked items, dry goods and more.

Thunderbolt – Cocktails to go include favorites like The Peach Thunderbolt, Liquid Picnic, The Round Trip, Tropipop, Espresso Martini, and P-town Boxing Club. Check Thunderbolt’s IG Story Highlight for the full takeout menu.

Interior of Bar Keeper in Silver Lake

Bar Keeper | Photo: @barkeepersilverlake

Bar Keeper (delivery via Drizly) – Open daily noon-6pm. Limited occupancy to allow for social distancing.

Flask Fine Wine & Whisky – Mon-Sun 10am-7pm. Phone and online orders available for pickup, one-hour delivery and scheduled delivery.

K&L Wine – Online orders only. Local delivery for Hollywood location, shipping available from the Bay Area.


These are extraordinary times, friends. The situation here in L.A. will surely get worse before it gets better. Just remember that we’re all in this together and we WILL get through this.

Shanghai-based Chris Lowder (GM of Proof & Company China) has been sharing his experiences as China grapples with the pandemic – check his “COVID” IG Story Highlight for best practices on cocktail delivery in China as American bars begin to roll out the service, as well as for general awareness.

A few days ago, Lowder shared a photo of a beaming Jimmy Zhang, who reopened Flavor Lounge in Chongqing, Sichuan after two months of quarantine closure. We’re still in the initial stages of a difficult process that China began in January, but Lowder’s message of positivity is one we can all take to heart: “THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL! You’ve got this, and we will get through it together as a family.”

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