FLINT, Michigan — When Brandon Corder had to pause his weekly brunch events at 501 Bar & Grill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Flint native found a convenient way to keep the brunch vibes going while keeping the community safe. His new business venture, Beats & Brunch Express, is a food delivery service in partnership with Redwood Steakhouse & Brewery. Together, the two businesses provide brunch dishes through Redwood’s food truck, The Redwood Patty Wagon.
Corder’s Beats & Brunch had been an ongoing event at 501 Bar & Grill for several years before the pandemic. The brunch brought in a large crowd of patrons who were hungry for food, music, and fun in the downtown Flint area.
“Beats & Brunch is one of our staple events,” Corder said. “Since we couldn’t have our traditional brunch due to COVID, we created an express version. [It’s] a way for people to have the brunch they love in a simple, easy, to-go format. You’re getting a brunch experience you’ve never had from a food truck.”
The Redwood food truck has been setting up shop on 319 E. Court St. for several weeks with delivery options through DoorDash and Grubhub. Customers have also been able to place their order and receive their food directly at the truck. The response from Beats & Brunch Express has been positive as followers of Corder’s brand have been able to support him while enjoying their beloved weekend brunch entrees.
“A good friend of mine, Luis Fernandez, and I started brainstorming immediately once restaurants were back to take-out only,” Corder said. “We came up with the idea to utilize the food truck to create a permanent pop-up restaurant. I was also brainstorming with my good friend, Jon Hardman, who had the location and other resources we needed to make this happen. I took both of those conversations and married the ideas.”
Another idea Corder cooked up has also taken his brunch experience to another level. On December 26, he launched Beats & Brunch Heated Igloo Dining at the Redwood Steakhouse and Brewery restaurant.
The outdoors pop-up style brunch features enclosed heated igloos that each fit up to six people. Unlike Redwood’s regular reservation policy for the igloos, the Beats & Brunch slot operates on a first come, first served basis. According to Redwood’s website, each igloo will be cleaned and fogged between every turn, ensuring a safer dining experience with social distancing measures set in place.
Beats & Brunch Heated Igloo Dining happens every Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m at Redwood Steakhouse, 5304 Gateway Centre Drive, Flint, MI 48507, until further notice.
When asked about his ability to adapt and expand in business during the pandemic, Corder replied, “It’s sink or swim at this point. I’ve always been a fighter and a forward thinker. Although I never encountered anything like the times we’re in now, I’m no stranger to making a way out of no way. It’s just in me to keep going and keep finding innovative ways to create.”