COPING WITH COVID: Craft and Draft.

Socializing has taken on a new meaning these days for Andrew Johnson.

Before COVID-19 concerns, Johnson, the co-owner of Craft and Draft, could usually be found behind the bar at one of the bottle shop and tasting room's two locations, chatting with customers and pulling taps.

Now, with his Devine Street and Irmo shops limited to online ordering and to-go purchases, Johnson's days look a little different.

"That's probably, emotionally, the hardest part for me, because so much of what we do is because of customers and because of people, the social interaction," Johnson said. "That's so much of what we do, having conversations with folks. That's been I don't want to say a challenge so much as an adjustment, not having five to 10 conversations at one time with any number of people every day."

On the flip side, Johnson has been able to spend more time with wife Sarah and their two young sons.

"Ultimately, you look at it from the grander scheme, and I've had a lot more family time here lately," he said. "I see my kids in the morning more because we're not rushing to go out the door: 'Put your shoes on, put your pants on, eat your Pop-Tart.' It's not a mad rush. It's quality time that we're spending with the family. So there's some adjustments that we've made that have been good, too."

Business demands still require Johnson's attention. He estimated sales to be down around 20% at both locations combined.

Johnson and co-owner Kellan Monroe opened Craft and Draft's Irmo location in January. The Devine Street location celebrated its fifth anniversary this past summer.

"We're off, like everybody else, but it's nothing crazy," Johnson said. "Irmo's kind of taking a hit, because we were only open for two months, so a lot of that is just dealing with the fact that people still don't know we're there. And we're not in a neighborhood, we're in a shopping center, so the foot traffic there has been noticeably down, but nothing we can't deal with."

So far, dealing with his new normal has meant deferring payments and cutting costs, including his own salary.

"Basically all non-essential spending is zero dollars a month essential spending being payroll and costs of goods sold and really nothing else: employees and goods that we can buy and resell," Johnson said. "That's what generates cash flow for us. Without the two of those, the business wouldn't exist in the first place. We're pinching pennies when we can and do what we can for however long and then going...

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