Swirlery Wine Bar co-owner Melissa McAvoy, pictured here with her partner Damian Roman, scoured Tuesday’s executive order from Orange County Mayor Jerry Demmings, desperately searching for the relief wine shops and other local alcohol retailers sought.
“I read it over and over again,” she said.
Liquor and wine stores are absent from the extensive list of essential businesses exempt from the order, which mandates a two-week closure of many of the county’s commercial enterprises starting Thursday night.
“I was kinda freaking out because I didn’t see anything to protect us,” McAvoy said.
Finally she found it, buried at the very end of the order, right before the effective date:
Nothing in this Emergency Executive Order shall be interpreted as prohibiting
retail or wholesale stores or vendors that currently sell sealed containers of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption from continuing such sales for off premises consumption.
“I was so relived,” she said, almost giddily.
It’s a small bright spot for local businesses scrambling to keep up with the ever-changing rules governments are enacting as they try to slow the spread of COVID-19.