I've talked up the Abbey for being massive supporters of the Eat Local wave going through Green Bay, but I had yet to actually eat there. COVID came right on the heels of me starting a new job, and I didn't have time, money or the ability to check out many of the local icons. Now that I do(and the need is so dire), it feels only right to use what I've got to support the people who are struggling most in the pandemic: our small businesses.
I’ve made it a goal to not eat another single meal from a major fast food chain for the rest of the year. Everything is going to come from a local-- coffee, sandwiches, pizzas, sushi, pasta-- all of it. This means that I’ll have to spread my net a little wider to find more people to support. Knowing that the Abbey played a major part in my decision to do this, it felt right to start Boycotting Big by Supporting Small with them.
My husband got our carryout order and brought it home. We live in Bellevue, so the meal had to survive about a fifteen minute trip from downtown De Pere. It did. When we cracked open the foam takeout boxes, our food was still warm and our fries still crunchy. Being able to enjoy almost the exact quality of a food as it should have in the restaurant is always an added bonus when the carryout goes well.
The hardest part of moving is finding a new sushi bar. We have had relatively limited choices in every other city we lived, and in those conditions found the available options more than adequate. Green Bay has as many sushi restaurants in this one city to equal all of the other sushi places we've eaten in our lives. You can see why this might pose a problem to my husband and I. We needed to find a favorite, and COVID-19 put a pause to this search. We still aren't done, but Umi Sushi, Tim-San's, and Fujiyama have all had things about them that we loved. Koko's Sushi Bar has managed to mark every box for both of us. Cost effective? Husband check. Impressive cocktail menu? Wife check. Fun sushi rolls? Marriage check.
Located downtown and right in the middle of a few other places I've grown fond of in the last few months since Wisconsin reopened, it's a wonder we never went before this past weekend. Worry about COVID was on every TV and radio station, and my employer fed into it. Inside of Koko's, I felt safe. The tables were well spaced in the well decorated restaurant, and it felt like I could let myself go just a little bit. Tables were spaced more than the required six feet. I could see the servers sanitizing their hands by the bar almost every time they left the table. If it hadn't been raining, we would have sat outside at their lovely and well spaced outdoor dining area. This is more than a lot of places are doing, but the safety precautions were only the beginning.
Prior to COVID-19, I followed the development of this bar/restaurant/arcade so closely that I had every post they ever made automatically filtered to the top of my facebook feed. I wanted nothing more than to have a good beer over a game of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with some friends, and occasionally treat myself to a video game themed burger. I worried for them as the pandemic hit and slowed progress. I was concerned that they would never open at all-- or worse, fail entirely.
That hasn’t been the case. For two weekends straight, my husband and I have visited their Green Bay location during their slow hours to take in some vintage games and have a local craft beer while we’re playing games that harken us back to our childhoods. I want so much to further support them, but with the rise of COVID-19 pushing Green Bay higher and higher up the list of outbreak cities, our last trip may have been the last one for a while. So let me tell you about Player 2.