ALBANY — Guthrie Bell Productions’ innovative series of shows pairing supper with live music performances at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen has been canceled.
The string of shows that launched in early October featured seating arrangements for live music fans sequestered to their tables behind a meal, entertained by live music.
“Due to the recent spike in cases in the area, we have decided to cancel all upcoming Supper Club events at The Hollow Bar + Kitchen,” Guthrie Bell Productions announced in a statement shared on Facebook. “We love the music fans that come to our shows and the artists that make them possible, and want to see you all be safe and healthy so when the time comes we can all get back to doing what we enjoy most.”
The first of such shows included a performance from locally acclaimed artist Girl Blue. The show sold out within days of the announcement, and was followed by four more events. Olivia Quillio was next to perform. According to the statement, those who bought tickets will be refunded.
The move comes as local restaurants pivot themselves in what many businesses already anticipate to be a tough winter. Restaurateurs lobbied before legislators to relax virus-related mandates limiting indoor seating months before Election Day. With temperatures dropping and COVID-19 cases rising, eateries see a repeat of last spring where businesses shutdown.
Guthrie Bell closed its statement by pleading with fans to support local restaurants.
“Please support them if you can during these upcoming months, you can stop by the restaurant for a meal, along with takeout and delivery options and gift cards. Local small businesses and restaurants need us more than ever now, be a good neighbor and help ensure they’ll always be around.”
Restaurant owners won’t wait for the federal government to help them out. Jason Pierce, owner of the Savoy Taproom on Albany’s Lark Street and founder of Feed Albany – COVID-19 Relief, is out front with a group of fellow restaurant owners asking for help now.
“In March, one day after the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shut down here in New York, we formed Feed Albany – COVID-19 Relief to provide food and resources for at-risk and in-need individuals throughout the region. Now, as a second wave of COVID rips through the Capital District, we’ve created the Capital Region Restaurant Fund to provide supplemental financial assistance to restaurant employees and owners hardest hit by the pandemic,” Pierce said.
Pierce shared the launching of the fund just days before temporarily closing Savoy Taproom’s dining room over concerns of Albany’s rising COVID cases. The Lark Street restaurant will continue to serve take-out.
The Capital Region Restaurant Fund provides supplemental financial support for struggling bar and restaurant employees who are out of work due to a COVID-19 positive diagnosis or mandatory quarantine and provides limited financial support to operators whose establishments have been forced to close temporarily due to staff who have tested positive or are under mandatory quarantine.
Board members of the fund include Dominick Purnomo, of Yono’s; Albany County Legislator Matthew Peter; Jen Fox, recently of Adirondack Basement Systems; and Joe Bonilla, of Relentless Awareness.
“In the same spirit as how Feed Albany – COVID-19 Relief was founded, the restaurant fund is in response to the crisis of the moment. The only way we will get through this together is to work together and support one another, especially those in the hospitality industry,” Bonilla said.
The restaurant fund is established through a gofundme account. Board members are also asking supporters to share the link through social media to spread the word.
For more information, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/capital-region-restaurant-fund.