Veteran Buys $20K Bottle of Bourbon for $40K to Help Eatery Stay Open

Wide angle shot of a restaurant interior of the bar counter and shelves of alcohol behind the bar.
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A Florida veteran and philanthropist bought a $20,000 bottle of bourbon for $40,000 to help a Tampa-area restaurant stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Suzanne and Roger Perry, owners of the Datz restaurant group, were selling their prized liquor collection so they could keep their staff on the payroll and hire back some of the staff they laid off.

The most valuable bottle in the restaurant’s collection was a Pappy Van Winkle Kentucky bourbon, aged 25 years.

“I put it online for sale for $20,000 with the promo code #Here4U for an additional 15 percent off,” Suzanne Perry told WFLA. “I was selling it, in reality, for $17,000 after I Googled it and saw similar bottles online for $17K to $26K.”

The owners received several low-ball offers on the bourbon until they got one phone call from a couple who was interested in hearing their situation. The couple eventually wanted to buy the bourbon.

When the couple showed up to pay for and pick up the bourbon, they handed Roger Perry a check for $40,000.

Suzanne said her husband opened the check and attempted to give it back because he thought it was a mistake, but the man who wrote it did not want to take it back and said, “We want you to have it.”

The man and his family has dined at several restaurants in the Datz group, and requested that he and his family stay anonymous.

Suzanne said because of this man’s act of generosity, the restaurant has been able to remain open, keep their skeleton crew of staff members, and bring a few more staff members back.

The restaurant has also made several meals for people on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Datz is currently open, serving a limited menu for takeout and delivery in Tampa and St. Petersburg.

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