Apple Lounge Bar & Grill Hosting Bartender Benefit On Saturday
by James Coulter
Has the stay-at-home order made you hungry for some good old-fashioned barbecue? Then come on down to Apple Lounge in Winter Haven this Saturday.
On May 9, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can pull up to the parking lot and order a $7 barbecue meal of a pulled pork sandwich, cole slaw, and baked beans. Not only will you be served good old-fashioned barbecue, but you’ll be served by friendly familiar faces.
“We will have the bartenders out there serving the food, because we know a lot of their customers will really, really miss them,” said Melinda Ross, General Manager of Apple Lounge. “It has been a long time, very loyal customers. We decided to get it started and help them out.”
As with most other bars, the Apple Lounge Bar & Grill has been forced to keep its main dining room closed in accordance with the stay-at-home order passed on May 1. Even while many other local businesses are re-opening, bars such as theirs remain closed.
As such, their staff, especially their bartenders, have been struggling financially. In an effort to help them out, this bartender benefit was started, not only offering them an opportunity to serve people, but also allow them to make some money.
“The reason we wanted to do this is because we have long time employees, and this outbreak has really, really hurt them,” Ross said. “So I ask the owner if we could put together a fundraiser for them to try to help them out because we are uncertain about when we will be able to open again.”
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Apple Lounge, like other local establishments, have been seeking creative ways to generate revenue such as offering take-out orders and to-go drinks.
They have especially benefited from The Rally Around Your Resturaunts, a local initiative encouraging people to patronize local eateries with take out and deliveries.
“We are getting customers from Lakeland and Polk City and different areas that didn’t know we had food,” Ross said.
Expectations remain high for the upcoming bartender benefit. Apple Lounge has fostered a close sense of community, and they hope that their community comes together to support them.
“We have had some of the same customers from 20 years ago,” Ross said. “We are like a tight-knit. So I would hope that they come out and support them and try to help them give them a little boost.”
Apple Lounge Bar & Grill is located at 2803 Recker Hwy, Winter Haven, FL 33880. For more information, visit their website at: https://www.facebook.com/appleloungewinterhaven/?rf=706812399447116