Episode 14: Alarming

 

Florida’s COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in the two weeks since the the state launched Phase Two of its reopening plan. The number of reported new infections each day has more than tripled, with day after day setting record highs. Residents, businesses, and governments are scrambling to respond. Many bars that were just allowed to start serving again have voluntarily shut down, some because staff or patrons have tested positive. After interviews for this episode were recorded on June 18, Swirlery Wine Bar decided to go back to retail-only in an abundance of caution, and Digress Wine announced a two-day closure after a customer reported COVID symptoms. Also since the recording, Governor Ron DeSantis said the state would ramp up enforcement of social distancing rules at bars, and Orange County, where Orlando is located, issued a mandatory mask order for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, a debate over response to the Black Lives Matter movement is shaking up one of the wine industry’s most venerable organizations.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

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Episode 13: Storm

 

An Orlando wine bar was caught in the path of an EF-1 tornado that tore through part of the city just a day after Florida lifted months of coronavirus restrictions on the state’s bars. The storm felt like a metaphor for life these days, with Black Lives Matter protests continuing, families feeling the strain, and COVID-19 cases on the rise amid Florida’s Phase Two reopening. That reopening is a huge relief for many wine businesses, but the community also got news that one of their own is closing for good.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

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Episode 12: Muted Reopening

 

After two and a half months of coronavirus restrictions, Florida bar owners can finally start serving drinks again, as long as customers are seated at 50% capacity. But in the hospitality capital of Orlando, celebrations are muted, amid days of Black Lives Matter protests and spikes in new COVID-19 cases. Despite the reopening news, many in the food and beverage industry are also learning they may not be going back to work any time soon. 

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

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Tim’s Avalon Park will close permanently due to COVID-19

Two years ago, The Wine Bar at Tim’s Wine Market Avalon Park became the first of Tim Varan’s regional constellation of wine shops to venture into the bar business.

Franchise owners Mark and Keisha Hoerrner created a cozy, welcoming spot in downtown Avalon Park, offering flights, wines by the glass, and small plates to complement their retail selection.

Today, the Hoerrners announced on Facebook that Tim’s Avalon would become “another casualty of COVID-19.”

Continue reading “Tim’s Avalon Park will close permanently due to COVID-19”

BREAKING NEWS: Florida bars can serve again starting Friday

Florida’s beverage industry got the news it’s been waiting for this afternoon.

Eleven weeks after bars were ordered to stop serving drinks in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Ron DeSantis gave them the green light to start pouring again starting this Friday.

His order allows seated service at 50% capacity indoors and unrestricted outdoor seating with social distancing measures. Restaurants will continue to operate under those same rules.

Bars have been restricted to retail-only sales since the restrictions took effect March 17.

Episode 11: Theme Parks

 

The COVID-19 death toll in the United States has topped 100,000, but in the hospitality capitol of Orlando, Florida, all three major theme parks have received the green light to reopen. That doesn’t mean everyone is going back to work, though. Many people who work in Florida’s food and beverage industry are still relying on spotty unemployment checks, and businesses classified as bars still can’t serve drinks. Some who supplement their income with theme park jobs are questioning whether it makes financial sense to go back, while others worry about an uptick in neighborhood crime as people grow increasingly desperate.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Episode 10: Left Out

 

Even as the United States’ COVID-19 death toll approaches 100,000, states are gradually reopening their economies, which are reeling from two months of shutdowns. In Florida, almost all businesses are now allowed to open with certain restrictions, including gyms, hair salons, restaurants, and even breweries. But bars are still waiting for the green light to serve drinks again, and people who make their living in the beverage business are getting short on patience – and finances.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Episode 9: Limbo

 

Businesses across the US are slowly starting to reopen, but some in the food and beverage industry fear they may be left out of the post-COVID economy, at least for awhile. In Florida, restaurants can open at 50% capacity now, as the state moves into Full Phase One. But bars are still retail-only, and owners are trying to find creative ways to satisfy impatient customers as they nervously watch the infection rates and wait for an elusive Phase Two.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Episode 8: Holding On

 

As restaurants begin to reopen in Florida, bar owners are still turning away frustrated customers and the money they would have spent. The road back to normalcy feels long and uncertain, with the tourism engines that drive Orlando’s economy unlikely to rebound anytime soon. Out-of-work food and beverage workers are starting to calculate just how long they can continue to wait for their jobs to come back. Meanwhile, they join the rest of the world in grappling with how to mark holidays and family milestones in a changed world.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Episode 7: Unanswered Questions

 

Florida’s restaurants were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity this week. It’s a faint light at the end of the tunnel for Orlando’s wine and food businesses, but there are still many unknowns. When will bars get the green light? How will they reconfigure their spaces and police their patrons’ behavior? How will servers and bartenders protect themselves?

Meanwhile, there’s a bit of hope on the government assistance front, but family health concerns continue, even as a socially distanced dinner with the kids provides a degree of solace.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.