Cracker Barrel Is Starting to Serve Alcohol for the First Time

The Old Country Store is looking to lure customers back with beer, wine, and mimosas.

Courtesy of Cracker Barrel

As the United States looks to reopen following months of COVID-19 related closures, mom and pop restaurants and national chains alike are pivoting to stay afloat. And the best way to lure us back -- besides improved health and safety standards -- might be alcohol. According to Cracker Barrel, at least. 

The southern country-themed restaurant is adding beer, wine, and mimosas to some menus across the country, as the company's CEO worries about "choppy" sales. While the allure of boozy beverages with your gravy 'n biscuits is no doubt a selling point for returning to restaurants, Cracker Barrel has actually had the plan slated prior to the global pandemic. 

The chain began offering alcoholic beverages at 20 restaurant locations nationwide on June 2. It's also adding chicken pot pie and fried pork chops to the lineup, but otherwise downsizing the menu. 

"The past several months have presented unprecedented challenges for Cracker Barrel, the industry and our country," CEO Sandra B. Cochran said in a statement to Nation's Restaurant News. "I believe our strategic priorities, such as accelerating our off-premise business, combined with the rapid actions we took to bolster liquidity, strengthen our business model and adapt our operations to the circumstances have positioned us well for the recovery period to come."

Of Cracker Barrel's 664 stores, a whopping 505 have already opened, the outlet reports. But for those still in quarantine -- or justifiably, worried about the health risks of dining out -- the chain is still offering pickup and delivery.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.