Two of the most popular dining spots on campus, Dave’s Cosmic Subs (Dave’s) and The Jolly Scholar Brewing Company (Jolly) have both recently reopened. While both market themselves as dining establishments, the two are well known as Thursday night hotspots for students looking to let loose after a week of hard classes. Due to COVID-19, however, the two establishments had to make a great deal of changes to fit guidelines set by the state. I spoke to the owners of each and asked them about the changes they made.
How have you adapted to allow for proper social distancing?
[Dave’s] “Aside from reducing the amount of indoor and outdoor sitting as per the opacity laws set in place, we have reorganized the table layout and asked that customers sit either in the shop or outside while they wait on their orders”
[Jolly] “Right now we’re not offering inside dining. We are hoping to be able to offer seating later in the semester, but currently our inside seating capacity would be 13 people.”
Have you changed your hours of operation?
[Dave’s] “Our current hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and closed Sunday. However, these hours are tentative and subject to change.”
[Jolly] “We are open at 11 a.m. and going to 10 p.m. as mandated by the state.”
Have students been following the guidelines set by the university and by your business?
[Dave’s] “On the whole, yes. There have been a number of verbal reminders. But we do keep visual reminders and infographics on display, though.”
[Jolly] “The students have been great. Inside and outside the restaurant with masks. Our employees have been fully participating in helping us pull this off. When you go to a lot of restaurants, you will see people pull masks under their noses … none of that.”
Are there any changes to the menu? Any new specials/deals?
[Dave’s] “The sub menu remains the same and the liquor options are, for the most part, unchanged. We do have a better selection of ciders, and have removed some of our less-than-desirable beer options. At the present time, we have $5 Wine Days on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Thursdays are $12 Mule and Margarita Pitchers, as well as $10.99 for Meatball and Fries, along with a themed drink or shot of the week. Friday’s are $6 Long Island Iced Teas. Aside from that, Thursday through Saturday, we have $8 on Miller High Life Pitchers, and $10 on Coors Lite, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller Lite Pitchers … We have several surprise deals in the pipeline going forward through, but still need to sort out the little details. However, to stay on top of it all, you’d best follow us on Facebook and Instagram @DavesCWRU.”
[Jolly] “No alcohol right now. The safety is the focus, even at the detriment of financial interests for both us and the university. Our menu is really geared around a more robust meal swipe menu and we are looking at a food truck by the first week of October…We’re hoping to relaunch our delivery program (for beer) again soon. We know people want a beer or two, we just want to do our part and to help drive this damn virus away.”
Comparing the two responses and visiting each location, I would safely say that each establishment is going above and beyond what’s expected of them. Jolly is taking precautions to another level by continuing to do carryout only, and for that, they should be commended. The new layout of Dave’s goes beyond simply limiting capacity and actually focuses on proper social distancing, as well. The major difference between the two is that Dave’s is continuing to serve in-person meals and alcoholic beverages as well as carryout, while Jolly is strictly carryout food (for the time being, at least). Both have delicious meals for reasonable prices, and to the new first years, I would recommend visiting both at least once in your time here.