Tornatore's Reopening Saturday with Takeout, Delivery Only

Written by Scott Joseph on .

tornatores ext

After closing his restaurant on Wednesday so that all staff members could be tested for COVID-19, Denny Tornatore, owner of Tornatore’s Cafe & Pizzeria, announced that enough staff results have come back – all negative – to begin serving again. The popular College Park restaurant will open Saturday at 4 p.m.

However, Tornatore said in an email message that he would go back to offering only takeout and delivery for the foreseeable future; the dining room will remain closed. As more staff members get their test results, they will be added back on to the work roster.

One important thing for customers to know: Tornatore’s staffers will be making food deliveries themselves rather than relying on third-party services. Companies like UberEats and Grubhub typically charge up to a 30 percent fee on the cost of an order, even those that offer “free delivery” to the consumer.

(A special dispensation championed by state representative Anna Eskamani allows restaurant workers to deliver food under their standard auto insurance coverage with approval from their insurer.)

“We will reopen doing [for] togo and delivery only for the near future,” Tornatore’s Facebook page announced, “until this spike in cases calms down. We will go the extra mile as normal to insure safety. The decision to close definitely cost us financially, especially during an already trying time, but it was the right thing to do.”

The note adds: “Please be safe. Wear a mask when you go out. We will get through this.”

The Whiskey Closed Until Further Notice

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Whiskey logo

Note: Consider this further notice: The Whiskey will reopen on Friday, July 3.

Due to Friday's announcement by the State of Florida for bars to immediately cease all on-premise consumption of alcohol, The Whiskey, a popular Restaurant Row watering hole, has closed until further notice.

The ban on alcohol consumption in bars was made by Halsey Beshears, secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which oversees liquor licenses in the state, on Twitter, because that apparently has become the official method of broadcasting important, life-altering information.

The decision was made after Florida reported nearly 9,000 new cases of COVID-19 Friday.

Earlier in the week, the Knight's Pub, a bar near UCF, had its liquor license suspended after allegations the management was not enforcing social distancing guidelines. In addition, a number of bars and restaurants have closed voluntarily after employees and guests have tested  positive for the coronavirus.

Bars Ordered Closed

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Beshears Tweet

Following a report of nearly 9,000 new cases of COVID-19, the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation has ordered the suspension of on-premises consumption at all bars in the state.

The announcement was made in a tweet from department secretary Halsey Beshears.

RESTAURANTS Act introduced to Save Restaurants

Written by Scott Joseph on .

Save Restaurants

If you’ve been following along on these pages lately you know that restaurants are in dire financial straits. We’re already seeing permanent closings and I fear more are to come.

But a bill with bipartisan support has been introduced in in the Congress that would provide financial support to restaurants.

It has a longwinded name (Congress, as I pointed out): the Real Economic Support that Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive Act of 2020.

Call it the RESTAURANTS Act for short.

The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), would provide $120 billion in grant programs specifically for small restaurants – no large chains or publicly traded companies. The aim is to cover the difference between 2019 revenue and anticipated revenue of 2020, with a cap of $10 million. You can read the full text of the bill here.

The RESTAURANTS Act is a long way from being approved, but you can communicate your support by sending a message to your Members of Congress through the Independent Restaurant Coalition portal.