ARVADA, Colo. — For those in the restaurant industry, innovation and creativity was the key to survival during the pandemic.
“We’re constantly trying to figure out new ways to get people in, and stay alive,” said Scott Spears, owner of School House Kitchen and Libations in Arvada. “We have an amazing team here. Everyone’s working their hardest. COVID created a tough situation, so we had to get creative.”
That’s something that sort of comes naturally to Spears. After all, he started a bar in a school.
“It’s the original schoolhouse in Arvada," Spears said about the building that now houses School House Kitchen and Libations. "It was built in 1886 and it was a one-room schoolhouse.”
And what school wouldn’t be a complete without a bus?
Spears said the idea to include the bus stemmed from ways to get more seating. It was challenging for the bar to stay afloat with limited capacity and six feet of spacing.
After reconfiguring some seating on the bus and running power from the old schoolhouse, the door to the bus is now open to diners.
“We were just walking down the street and said, 'Is that a school bus? Random,'” one customer said. “And then we were like, 'Can you sit inside?'”
Another diner said they feel safe dining in the bus and said the staff is wonderful.
“I feel super educated,” one customer said. “We never thought we’d be drinking alcohol on a school bus.”
“We start (the bus) once a month to make sure it’s still functional,” Spears said.
Like so many other cities, Arvada’s city council voted to block traffic on some streets in Olde Town, allowing businesses, like School House, to expand outdoor seating.
“The City of Arvada has been awesome to work with and they’re all about getting creative,” Spears said. “We did have to talk to the fire department to make sure we had clearances.”
So, hop on! After all, you wouldn’t want to miss the bus.