In keeping with the larger-than-life style for which its known, the owners of Florida’s beloved Datz Restaurant Group have announced that the bottle of 25-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey they put up for sale last week for $20,000 has sold to an anonymous buyer—for double the asking price—helping to raise funds needed to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

An anonymous local veteran and philanthropist, who is a self-described bourbon collector, purchased the rare bottle for $40,000 after seeing a Tampa Bay Times article about Datz co-owners Roger and Suzanne Perry putting the bottle on the market to help cover the cost of payroll and maintaining employee wellbeing during the quarantine. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale will benefit Datz’s hardworking, “bacon-hoarding, doughnut-loving, booze-drinking, beer-buzzing team.”

Perry said the buyer, a frequent customer of Datz’s locations in Tampa over the years, told her that he’s been looking for a bottle like this for a long time.  

“I received many offers for this bottle at below what I was asking and I didn’t entertain them because this is people’s income we are talking about,” Perry says. “This gentleman? He is being overwhelmingly generous and I was able to bring back a few people to work due to him. We are now able to staff up enough to start making meals for frontline workers like hospital staff, police and paramedics.  Our prized Pappy Van Winkle 25-year is going to a good home with an appreciative new owner. I couldn’t be happier that we can pay his generosity forward.”

The bottle has been part of Perry’s personal prized vintage liquor collection for several years. Bottle #413 of 710, the whiskey was distilled in the spring and fall of 1989 and bottled after 25 years of aging, the oldest barrels ever bottled from the storied distillery.

The Pappy Van Winkle bottle was the debut bottle in what Datz is now calling its “Quarantine Connoisseur” category on its take-out menu, featuring other rare or unusual spirits such as Suze Saveur d’Autrefois, Bayou Satsuma Rum Liquor and Cathead Honeysuckle, a handmade vodka from the oldest distillery in Mississippi.

The always fun-loving brand is managing to find humor and keep customer spirits up however it can in the quarantine, adding creative to-go offerings like the “Love is Contagious” Quarantine Date Night meal for two and a $30, six-inch Toilet Paper Cake, an homage to the most elusive of all household essentials that is selling so quickly that it’s also keeping several Datz team members employed on its own.  

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