Wine Club Newsletter - January 2021
To Be, or Not to Be . . .
By Gary Parker
What a world, yeah?
Well, 2020 was certainly a year worthy of a nod to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!
“Take a motorcar to nowhere in particular”. . . . We all experienced some of that this year.
But we are safe, healthy, and happy, and certainly wish you the same fortunes, as we begin our hope and faith that the year 2021 will bring us closer to normal. Then we can visit with our wonderful friends again, and often.
Much love and care to you from us,
Gary & Lori Parker
I wanted to share with you the personal holiday greeting card of Lori and I hunkering down with a cocktail in the back yard. Lori and I sent this out to our friends and family this year.
And I want to note that all of our wine club members feel like family. Many of you have been with us for decades, enjoying the wine selections, the recipes and our newsletter here, The Wonderful World of Wine. I thank you for that, very much.
The truth is, without my faithful wine club members, I may not be writing this to you or sending wine out. We are fortunate in the fact that this club is a very integral part of our business model. The two other important parts of our business model are retail wine sales, and wine locker rental income. These have all continued to be strong through this time, allowing us to eek by, for the time being.
It is eerie having empty tables in the restaurant for so long now. We built an outdoor patio ($20k) to accommodate an outdoor alternative, finishing it in November . . . just in time to have it shut down in December. A bit frustrating, but I do understand the bureaucratic motives behind all this opening and closing.
Still, it is tough to say goodbye and hello and goodbye again to our restaurant guests, not to mention my staff. We went from twenty two staff, to nineteen, then to thirteen, and now down to eight full time employees. It is heart-breaking to see, and to not see you.
Lori and I took a drive from Oceanside down the coast to Del Mar last weekend. We were totally shocked to see how many restaurants were open and serving people in spite of the Government shutting down inside and outside restaurant dining. And I saw establishments serving diners that I knew had previously been given “Cease & Desist” orders from the authorities.
We looked at each other and said . . . “Why are we closed?”
We have a very large indoor and outdoor space. We could serve about 20-30 people at onetime and all the diners would be eight to ten feet from each other. And of course, our staff, still conducting retail and take out sales, are very familiar with the safety protocols necessary to insure the safest possible experience for those stopping in.
If we opened, and someone got the virus traced to our business, how would I feel? Immoral? Perhaps greedy? I certainly would have a great deal of empathy and concern for the individual. Some of my friends want us to reopen, others wouldn’t step in any restaurant until this virus is under control.
As I write this, there are going to be some decisions made by our city/county governing bodies this week, about enforcing the shut down order. I have a feeling they will be escalating the enforcement, both with increased personnel on patrols as well as significantly stiffer penalties.
That alone could make the decision for me easier. The penalties I hear they are coming up with are for those who violate the terms and are written up, they can’t even do take out anymore. That would be deadly for any dining establishment, and would bruise The WineSellar & Brasserie quite hard. Our take home wine themed dinners have been quite popular, and keeping the Chef busy.
To be, or not to be? Why don’t you share your feeling with me? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.