By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Jun 10, 2020 at 4:29 PM Photography: Dan Garcia

The MECCA Sports Bar and Grill, as well as The Beer Garden, will reopen for the first time in months – albeit at the mandated 25 percent capacity limits due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – starting on Friday, June 12.

The sports bar will open at 11 a.m. and stay open until close, while the Beer Garden will begin service at 4 p.m. through 10 p.m.

"The safety of our guests and employees is our top priority while reopening The MECCA Sports Bar and Grill and The Beer Garden," said Michael Belot, Senior Vice President of Bucks Ventures and Development, in a press release. "We look forward to welcoming back our guests under these new guidelines and providing them with a safe and healthy environment and a great experience to dine and watch sports."

At The MECCA, those new health-conscious guidelines include employees wearing masks, touches payment options, wipeable menus, sanitation stations, capacity limits in the restrooms, propped open doors so customers don't have to touch additional surfaces, refills in new glasses and removed tables in order to maintain social distancing in addition to no standing room at the bar. Each table will be served by a single waiter, waitress or bartender trained in new COVID-19 preventing protocols, passing a health questionnaire and temperature check at the start of service, and wearing and regularly changing gloves as well as washing one's hands during service. 

Customers are not required to wear masks, but both The MECCA and The Beer Garden recommend them save for when eating or drinking.

Not all of the changes at The MECCA and The Beer Garden are COVID-related, though, as The MECCA has taken its off-time to make menu changes. These include a new kids menu, new allergy-conscious options for those avoiding nuts and dairy, and an altogether revamped regular menu featuring past bar food favorites like the MECCA burger and wings as well as new items like the Carolina dog – a foot-long hot dog topped with chili, slaw and onions – a blackened mahi sandwich and more. 

For those still uncomfortable with dining in public places, The MECCA will also offer curbside pickup with specific menu options to be announced soon. 

The MECCA will be open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-10 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until close, and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. As for The Beer Garden, the hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 4-10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.