Mainstreet Daily News, in a collaboration with Noel Leroux, founder of Gainesville Downtown, is spotlighting downtown businesses to learn how each one is coping with the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation.
Five years ago at this time, Maude Wilson was getting ready to reopen the shuttered Downtown Wine and Cheese shop at 113 N. Main St. These days, she’s hustling to keep those doors open amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
When Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a statewide ban on all restaurant dining Friday, Wilson and her staff scrambled to create a carryout and delivery menu that includes specialty pizzas, salads and cheese boards… as well as wine, beer and sake.
This week, they’ll be introducing to-go cocktails and margaritas.
“I’m staying so busy making all the changes that I haven’t had time to think about COVID-19,” Wilson said on Friday evening.
Customers can still visit Downtown Wine and Cheese, browse a wide selection of wine and order food at the counter, but nothing can be consumed on the premises, in accordance with the governor’s orders. Store hours are 4-9 p.m. daily.
Carryout and delivery is available until 11 p.m. seven days a week by calling 352.222.1348. There is no delivery charge for orders of $30 or more.
“We’re spending all of our time here, trying to make as much money as we can until we can’t,” Wilson said. “If this goes on a long time and we’re still allowed to do delivery and carryout, we’ll expand the menu. Right now it’s limited as we try to figure everything out.”
For the complete menu and list of wines and pricing, visit downtownwineandcheese.com.
“What we’re doing is completely different from what we were doing a week ago, but the numbers are staying about the same,” Wilson said. “A lot of that is a push from the community to support local and people getting word out to remind people that they still have options. We’re not on lockdown!”
Wilson also wanted to assure customers that Downtown Wine and Cheese is taking all sanitary steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of its customers, including card-only transactions and shrink-wrapped cheese boards and salads.
“We’re doing as little food handling as possible,” Wilson said.
Noel Leroux is the publisher of gainesvilledowntown.com, a website dedicated to covering all things downtown. His mission is to inform, entertain and engage readers with compelling articles about arts, entertainment, and the foodie scene in Gainesville.