Rock County restaurant helps keep farmers fed in the fields
A restaurant and bar in rural Rock County is making sure farmers stay fed while not missing a beat while working in the fields.
“We don’t need a street name. Our delivery guys just go find the field and if we have to, we will put it in four-wheel drive and we will take it to them,” said Bill Perkins who owns The Shopiere Tap along with his wife, Audra Perkins.
The Shopiere Tap is located on County Highway J along Turtle Creek just north of Beloit.
“We are a rural community out here but we service a big distance. We have people come from an hour away to eat and converse at our bar,” said Perkins.
Monday morning, Perkins posted on Facebook saying his restaurant will deliver orders directly to farmers in the field with no charge for delivery.
“If you are in the fields, we will bring your dinner to you, no delivery charges attached to that,” said Perkins. “My wife started doing this 3 or 4 years ago because guys (farmers) were out trying to beat the rain and they called and said they were going to stop, but my wife ran them their food out in the field,”
Perkins says the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent “Safer at Home” order have really left his business in a dark place.
“The stay at home order, I try to drive down the middle of the road most times (on issues), but it’s been tough. I’ve been telling everyone I call it a “once-size-fits-all” lockdown and it’s just not fair,” he said.
The dining room and bar are closed but they are still offering “to go” orders and pick-up. Because of the shutdown, Perkins had cut his staff from 29 employees down to seven.
“We are a nice country bar but in the same breath, we put out a lot of great food and I hate seeing it go out the door in a Styrofoam box,” said Perkins.
Perkins says over the eight years he’s owned the bar, the farming community in the area have become like family. He says taking food to them out in the field is the least he can do to thank them for all their hard work during this time of uncertainty.
“It’s got to be tough on them not knowing what the fall will bring,” Perkins said. “What is going on and what we see our neighbors going through, but they are still coming in and still trying to tip as much as they can. It means a lot to us. It means more than I can ever say,”