Bottle Of Whiskey Sell For $40,000; Funds To Pay Restaurant Staff

TAMPA, FL — In keeping with the larger-than-life style for which its known, the owners of Florida’s beloved Datz Restaurant Group announced that the bottle of 25-year-old Pappy Van Winkle Whiskey they put up for sale in late March 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 coronavirus crisis.

An anonymous local veteran and philanthropist, a self-described bourbon collector, purchased the rare bottle for $40,000 after Datz co-owners Roger and Suzanne Perry put the bottle on the market to help cover the cost of payroll and maintaining employee well-being during the quarantine. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the sale benefited 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 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 said. “This gentleman? He is being overwhelmingly generous, and I was able to bring back a few people to work due to him."

The purchase allowed staff to pay staff, which was able to give back to the community by making meals for frontline workers including 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," said Perry.

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 managed to find humor and keep customer spirits up however it could during the closures, adding creative to-go offerings like the “Love is Contagious” Quarantine Date Night meal for two and a $30, 6-inch Toilet Paper Cake, an homage to the most elusive of all household essentials during the pandemic.

This article originally appeared on the Tampa Patch