Due to the restrictions presented by Coronavirus, many local businesses and restaurants are being forced to get creative and come up with new ways to connect with customers. At D&S Automotive, we have always made community a focal point in what we do. Because of that, we are sharing the many stories of businesses that are members of the Mentor, Willoughby Western Lake County, Eastern Lake County, and Chardon chambers.
The spotlight today is on Westel’s Alibi & Hush located in Downtown Willoughby. Opening its doors just days before the government-ordered shut down for restaurants and bars, the new establishment is showing what it takes to kick the dust off and rise to the occasion.
Westel’s Alibi & Hush
Owners, Tommy Gerbic, Ken Tahsin and Jason Rice, opened Westel’s Alibi & Hush in March with a name that was inspired by Westel Willoughby Jr., for whom the city is named after. Also, fun fact is he supposedly, he never actually stepped foot into the city. Westel’s Alibi & Hush is located in the space that formerly housed Cork’s Wine Bar and was designed to be a fun and friendly neighborhood location where people can meet to enjoy crafted cocktails, hand-picked local draft beers, and wine.
Unfortunately, after holding a friends and family event Saturday, March 14th, and having an official open date slated for March 16th, Ohio ordered all restaurants and bars to close for in-house patrons on March 15th. “Like all businesses, the restaurants and small Mom and Pop establishments and service industry workers have been very hard hit by our current situation,” explained Gerbic. But while many other businesses would be discouraged by this timing, Westel’s Alibi and Hush swiftly pivoted to offer social distancing pop-ups, serving their signature cocktails packaged with various food each week, along with grower fill and wine bottles to-go on Saturdays. The establishment was featured on the news for being one of the first restaurants in the area to offer “to-go packs” of this sort.
Gerbic told us, “We use these pop-up cocktail to-go events to help bring the community together.” He added, “They have proven to be a win-win situation, as they help us cover some expenses, get some needed work to our employees, and draw attention to raise a few dollars to some important community programs.” So far the company has been able to raise awareness and donations for Dress for Success, Feed the Front Line and a local food pantry.
Gerbic told us, “We have been moved by the support of the community and hope these events bring some sort of sense of normalcy to a very challenging time.” Westel’s Alibi & Hush is encouraged that by offering to-go cocktails to its customers, the company is still able to engage with them.
Like others, many of us at D&S Automotive are excited to give this new community-focused restaurant a visit once it is safe to do so again. The restaurant’s ascetics are separated by Westel’s Alibi, which is an industrial main bar dawning hi-top tables, and Hush, which is an exclusive “speakeasy” and party room behind hidden doors, featuring a mahogany bar from the early 1900’s.
As for D&S, we are open and operating under adjusted hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm M-F.
Here are the actions we are taking:
- We are sanitizing all vehicles before and after each repair. Our employees are paying special attention to touch points such as keys, seats, steering wheels, door handles, and shift knobs.
- We are offering complimentary pick up and drop off of vehicles so you do not need to leave your home. Employees picking up and dropping off vehicles are required to wear gloves and a face covering.
- You can get a repair estimate from home by using our online estimate tool.
- We will work with you in terms of payment over the phone or any other precautions to ensure as little contact as possible.
- We are cleaning our facilities frequently with sanitizing products.
- We are taking precautions to ensure the welfare of our employees. This includes instructing employees who feel ill to stay home and consult their healthcare providers, as well as, instructing all employees to be vigilant about frequent and proper hand washing.
- If you feel sick, please visit our Collision Centers at a future date, stay home and seek advice from your health care provider.