NSW's ongoing Covid lockdown has left businesses and performers in Wagga struggling, with our favourite local spots forced to get creative to keep themselves afloat.
Teaming up for an online night of fun this weekend will be Riverina Comedy Club's Dane Simpson and the Thirsty Crow Brewery who are bringing back Servo Bingo - the online bingo game born during the 2020 lockdown.
The Thirsty Crow's Tayla Martin said their hoping to get increased support from the community after some of the hardest months the business has faced.
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"Look, it's been tough for every local business around, it was tough prior to going into lockdown because a lot of our customers here are tourists coming through the region," Ms Martin said. "We noticed a massive decline even before, when Sydney lockdown was first on, however it's impacted more now."
"We're trying to keep positive here and try new things you've got to adapt to the changes, see what works, what doesn't work."
One new thing the brewery is trialing is a Thursday deal in which the price of beers per 100 millilitres is matched to the price of LPG gas listed at the Caltex service station across the road.
"It's a really cheap deal and it's to help us empty the kegs that we've got, and also to get customers trying new things and types of beers at home," she said.
Servo Bingo will be added to the roster of alternative business offerings from this Saturday, with Mr Simpson and Mrs Pollock welcoming the opportunity to perform in what has also been an increasingly hard environment for the Comedy Club.
"It's been so difficult for the club specifically," Mr Simpson said. "We certainly did think we had gone through the worst of it last year, and yet it's worse for us this time around."
Ms Pollock said shows had run uninterrupted from last August up until now, with this latest stay at home order dealing a serious blow to the organisation.
"At least we were putting on shows and doing regular gigs last time," she said.
They are both excited to get Servo Bingo off the ground once more, describing it as a family-friendly night of silliness that is just what the doctor ordered for the people of Wagga.
The game consists of the host commentating the comings and goings of the service station across the road from the brewery, with options to be checked off the bingo card including the arrival of a ute, a dog in a tray, a customer filling a jerry can and more.
"It's the worst best thing ever, it's something so silly and so dumb that we started last year when everyone was in lockdown," Mr Simpson says. "People can watch from their homes, get their bingo sheets, and it's a great way of supporting Wagga owned and run businesses."
Servo Bingo can be watched on Facebook or through Twitch from 7:30 PM on Saturday, August 28. To participate in the bingo you can pick up a card from the Thirsty Crow website, or it is free with any food and drink takeaway combo purchased.
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