Hermann Wurst Haus adjusts to pandemic

Ray Scherer

 

Hermann Wurst Haus has found some flexibility in the way it chooses to continue faithfully serving customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Co-Owner and Wurstmeister Mike Sloan said the business -- like all others -- admittedly had to slow down and eventually suffer through a temporary closure, starting in March, due to the virus's impacts. That adjustment also cost Wurst Haus its ability to seat customers inside, and meant Sloan had to subtract the interior's chairs and then figure out a way to instead host the clientele outdoors.

 

"It's against my DNA," he said, referring to the reducing in inside seating.

In his unexpected downtime, Sloan said he began noticing how people acted in Hermann because of the pandemic. That behavior included purchasing of fast foods at the convenience stores, because restaurant options were nonexistent.

 

"I didn't feel like that's what they came to Hermann for before," said Sloan.

 

In response, Wurst Haus placed a grill outside the business for the Saturday after what would have been the annual Maifest in Hermann. Sloan said the barbecue items he sold in the new setting turned out to be a very big hit with diners. That translated into people choosing to eat their meals at such nearby locations as the riverfront and along First Street.

 

"That told me there might be a demand for outdoor seating," he said of the circumstances.

 

He's now relying on a stainless steel rotisserie close to Wurst Haus's front door to do the work, complete with all the bells and whistles to create such goodies as brisket. Repurposed milk jugs, obtained from Branson, are serving as seats for the al fresco arrangements.

 

A current project seeks to bring an arbor-style covering for the outdoor seating. 

 

Hours at Wurst Haus were reduced by the pandemic, but are gradually rebounding, according to Sloan.