Seattle-based Optimism Brewing had done all it could to brace itself for a grim future after the pandemic hit the city.
Optimism once prided itself in hosting events, offering a vast array of IPAs, pilsners, as well as to-go growlers and cans. However, as closures dragged on, founder Gay Gilmore saw a new opportunity arise from the ashes.
“I would see guests come in, like right at noon, with their laptop in one hand and a backpack on their shoulder, and they’d be like, ‘Can I get a table near an outlet?’” said Gilmore. “I realized there’s this phenomenon that’s happening here. People are going nuts sitting in their apartments working. And they just want to get out for a little bit.”
This led Gilmore to open a Tock reservation link that allowed people to book a table in the brewery before normal business hours. Here, people could gain access to a quiet workspace outside of their homes and beer or water for around $15 to $20 a person.
With Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently lifting restaurant and bar restrictions, Optimism is seeing small work groups booking tables together.
However, Gilmore needed to make adjustments if she was going to move forward with this new type of coworking offering. She bought extension cords, upgraded the Wi-Fi, seating arrangements and is following COVID-19 protocols with large fans for ventilation, spaced seating and low-contact service.