AFTER thousands of shops, restaurants and bars closed their doors across the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic, business owners have been forced to adapt their ways to survive through these testing times.

Among those which diversified their usual order of business through lockdown was the bar Rioja in Ulverston.

The popular cocktail bar in New Market Street launched a cocktail delivery service for customers to enjoy their favourite tipples from home.

Tony Martinez, director of Rioja, thought of the idea as a way to bring the bar to the public while also giving back to local charities.

He said: “As soon as we found out we were in lockdown, we thought what are we going to do to help our community.

“It was difficult to think of a way to help using alcohol but people seem to have taken to this really well.”

Since launching in mid-May, the new venture has proven to be a roaring success, with a team of seven drivers dropping off thousands of cocktails to satisfied customers every weekend.

They have also introduced food deliveries into their service, including their All-American Feast, which is available across the Furness and South Lakes areas.

All the profits from the delivery service have also been shared between St Mary’s Hospice and Ulverston’s foodbank.

Mr Martinez said he would rather ‘raise money for charity’ than make profit during these times.

“A government grant is being given to businesses,” he said. “Why should I be making money when I could be raising money for charities which really need it right now?”

While most are keen to reopen as soon as possible once government restrictions are lifted, Mr Martinez won’t be doing the same at Rioja until he is convinced it is safe for his staff and customers.