Open For Business: Washington restaurant incorporates camping equipment to draw customers in

Open For Business

Washington, Ill. (WMBD) – A restaurant in Washington is finding a unique workaround to COVID-19 dining restrictions: camping tents.

“We have three small tents that will hold four to five people and we have six big tents that will hold six to eight people,” said Sherrie Lucas. She’s the owner of Brickhouse BBQ, Burgers and Brews. “The server doesn’t even need to step into the tent.”

Lucas said she can’t take credit for the idea.

“We have some family that lives in Colorado and they had said that they went to a restaurant there that had them and how just fun and unique it was,” she stated.

Last year, the state’s shutdown orders in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic brought about concerns for the business.

“It was horrible. We were all standing here. It was on a Sunday and we had a football crowd and I just remember crying because I thought, ‘Oh my gosh! This business that I love is done,” said Lucas.

But with the help of carryout orders, a supportive customer base and the unique camping tent set up, Lucas said she’s seen nothing, but success. 

“Without Washington, we would have never been able to survive. I know that for sure.”

sherrie lucas

“Everybody says thank you. You know, they wanted to dine out, but they don’t want to go in a crowded restaurant. They don’t want to go where they feel like they’re not safe,” Lucas stated. “It gives people a chance to eat out and not do dishes and not have to cook, but yet be safe and be enclosed all on their own.”

Now that central Illinois has entered phase four mitigations of the Restore Illinois Plan, limited indoor dining is allowed. But Lucas said she still plans to keep the outdoor setup. 

“We’ve been so fortunate to still enjoy so busy at a time like this that I just feel like the future is only going to get better.”

Brickhouse BBQ, Burgers and Brews is located at 1021 N. Cummings Ln. in Washington.

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