By Tim McNicholas

CHICAGO (CBS) — Bars and breweries across the city are entering uncharted territory to try to recoup their losses during the coronavirus pandemic.

They are selling alcohol only for pickup or in some cases, delivery, and the city is encouraging that method.

CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas had a look Friday morning at how they are quickly changing their operations.

Uncertainty is on tap for Mark Legenza and his On Tour Brewing Company in West Town.

“Our business is really taking a hit from this,” Legenza said.

With serving pints at the bar now off-limits, Legenza is asking customers to use a new feature on their website to place pickup or to-go orders.

“We just launched it a couple hours ago and we’ve had about 15 orders come in, so that’s pretty cool,” he said.

On Tour will also deliver beer to customers on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The city is encouraging it – with a webpage clarifying that bars and breweries can deliver packaged liquor as long as they verify the customer is at least 21.

“It’s better than nothing that’s for sure, and just time will tell if this is something that will help us ride the wave,” Legenza said.

On Tour will be doing the deliveries themselves.

Meanwhile, some bars, including the Avondale Tap, have now added beer as an option on their Grubhub menu.

The George Street Pub is advertising discounts for carry-out alcohol orders. Owner Ali Denizman is hoping it can help, but he doesn’t expect to make money off the new method.

“I don’t know whether I’m going to open next year. That’s about it,” Denziman said. “We could be shuttered. We could be out of business. I have no idea. there’s no money left to pay mortgages, rent. We’re just trying to keep people, keep the staff paid and we’ll see how long it goes.”

At On Tour, they are cleaning out their tanks and doing their best to keep busy.

Legenza said they are brewing lagers, which take a couple months to finish. He hopes by then, his customers can enjoy them in-house.

Tim McNicholas