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 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.

Episode 6: Reopening?

 

Talk of reopening the economy provides a glimmer of hope for these small businesses and laid-off employees trying to keep their heads above water amid COVID-19 restrictions and closures – but nobody knows exactly what that reopening will look like or how to plan for it. Meanwhile, another round of monthly bills is coming due, and the promise of government relief is still no more than a promise. But life goes on, as a birthday takes on new meaning in times of hardship, and separation from family becomes harder to bear. 

Filling the Void: Orlando’s wine community seeks connection and cash flow through virtual events

“A wine bar is a social place,” said Matt Coltrin, owner of The Parkview in Winter Park. “Literally by definition, we’re a place to gather and drink wine.”

For the past month, COVID-19 has made it impossible for people to gather at his wine bar on Park Avenue, so on March 27, he stepped outside his comfort zone and hosted The Parkview’s first virtual happy hour via Facebook Live, with Wine Club Manager Holly Frost.

“I’m still pretty uncomfortable doing it, but … I miss tasting wine with my neighbors,” he said. “I’m dying for human interaction.”

Plus, he needs to sell wine. When local and state restrictions removed the social component from his business, he had to find new ways to get customers in the door – or at least to the curb.

“The Parkview has never really been known for retail,” he said. “These tastings have been really beneficial, since all we have right now is retail.”

Continue reading “Filling the Void: Orlando’s wine community seeks connection and cash flow through virtual events”

Episode 5: Groundhog Day

 

Anxiety is setting in for Orlando’s food and wine professionals, as they realize the smallest of America’s small businesses seem to be at the back of the line for government rescue funds. Despite the struggle to stay positive and solvent as the crisis drags on and the days run together, they’re conflicted about reopening the economy. Meanwhile, a sick parent considers going back to work, and a child steps into adulthood in the midst of the pandemic.

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.

UnWineding Episode 4: Wait & Worry

 

The COVID-19 pandemic is deep into its second month, and help is slow to arrive for businesses and employees affected by the economic fallout. Personal finances are feeling the pinch, prompting some who work in Orlando’s hard-hit food and wine industry to re-evaluate their long-term plans … and even their hair color! Meanwhile, concerns continue about a sick parent, a vulnerable kid, and a beloved pet. 

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 iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher.

UnWineding Episode 3: Bills

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second month, it’s crunch time for many of the businesses and workers affected by shutdowns intended to stop the disease from spreading – including those we’re following in Orlando’s wine industry. Bills are coming due just as a statewide stay-at-home order takes effect.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding and to Amy Tardif for editorial assistance.

Restaurants offer deep wine discounts; Wine businesses not affected by governor’s stay-home order

These days, just about every business that’s still selling wine is doing so at a discount. It would be newsworthy to find a shop or restaurant not offering some kind of deal.

Savvy observers may notice restaurants are offering especially deep price cuts, with many selling bottles from their wine lists at 50% off. Discounts at retail establishments tend to average around 15-20%.

Why the difference? Because restaurants generally charge patrons between two and four times what they pay their distributors for a bottle of wine; the retail markup, by contrast, is usually only 1.5 times. Cutting restaurant prices in half will get the costs down to around what consumers are likely to pay retail.

But many restaurants can offer producers and vintages that are hard to find in retail settings.

Continue reading “Restaurants offer deep wine discounts; Wine businesses not affected by governor’s stay-home order”