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Restaurant uses money from perfect-at-home takeout to give away free pre-made meals

COURTESY PHOTO  - Tavern on Kruse has created a unique way to donate meals to those who have become unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Tavern on Kruse got a little creative with its takeout options when they were ordered to close on-site dining in March.

The gourmet restaurant, which typically does not offer that option, has crafted finish-at-home meals where people can follow instructions to bake gourmet meals at home with their families. In exchange, the money from those meals goes toward pre-made meals that people who have recently become unemployed can pick up and enjoy for free.

"You get to have a nice gourmet meal in front of you," said Kylie Bissett, former bartender and current head of takeout systems.

People who have recently become unemployed — restaurant workers, hair stylists or anyone else — can visit the restaurant's website at www.tavernonkruse.com and fill out the proper information to pick up meals either Tuesday or Friday from 4:45-6:15 p.m.

Folks who are purchasing meals to-go to help donate to the cause can also pick up their food items during that time frame.

For example, people purchased 120 meals to make at home Tuesday, April 28, and in turn, 130-140 meals were handed out to those who are unemployed Friday, May 1.

So far, the restaurant has donated about 1,500 free meals to people in need. COURTESY PHOTO - This is an example of one of the donated meals Tavern on Kruse provides to people.

Pre-made meals have included chicken curry with pineapple and jasmine rice, and vegetable minestrone, salad and bread.

The meals that people can cook at home have included elk wellington and duck dishes.

"We have tons of wine. The owner here, (Kent Lewis), he is all about his wine," said Bissett, adding that people can buy discounted wines to pair with the meals to-go.

"We had amazing people that buy the perfect-at-home meals and give them to people picking up meals," Bissett said. "This is really great. This has been so rewarding."

The restaurant also offers hot food takeout options Wednesdays and Saturdays from 4:45-6:45 p.m., with some of the venue's classic options like the burger, fried chicken and truffle mac n' cheese, and brussel sprouts.

The restaurant was recently awarded the Paycheck Protection Program loan from the federal government — which many local businesses have had issues obtaining — and it has helped bring more paid employees back on staff.

"We are trying to establish an amazing takeout program that can keep going on even after we reopen," Bissett said. "The owner here, Kent, he is fantastic … he went for it (the PPP loan) right away and we were so fortunate to get that grant so we can do what we're doing."

Like many businesses, Bissett said she appreciates the community's support and they are taking it one day at a time.

"We have crazy dishes that just don't hold up so this has definitely been a learning curve," she said."We definitely are planning on — depending on how long this goes — we will be expanding but it's just a matter of time, what we're able to come up with and create."

COURTESY PHOTO - This is one of the perfect-at-home meals the restaurant offers. Money from these meals go toward donated meals to those who have become unemployed.


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