Pourvino closes its doors amid Covid-19

Carryout orders weren’t enough to keep Grafton wine bar in business

POURVINO WINEBAR & BISTRO co-owner Sally Maydak stood at the counter of the downtown Grafton eatery, which closed due to a lack of income during the pandemic. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

Pourvino Winebar & Bistro in Grafton has become another business casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This Covid thing really killed us. The decision was really hard for us to make. We kicked it around for a long time, but in the end it was the best thing for us,” Sally Maydak, who owns the wine bar with her husband Frank, said. “Our business is selling an ambience and we couldn’t sell that anymore.”

Maydak said curbside orders weren’t enough to keep the business afloat since March 17, when Gov. Tony Evers directed the Department of Health Services to order bars and restaurants to close except for delivery and pickup orders and prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people. By the time the order was lifted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court earlier this month, Maydak said, the decision was already set in stone to close for good.

“We only had 10% of our typical sales come in from curbside take out,” she said. “We know our margins, and our margins are really tight.” 

Even if the wine bar was allowed to operate at a reduced capacity, Maydak said that wouldn’t have been enough.

“I need 100% capacity to pay the bills. I’ve put so much money into Pourvino that I can’t keep on doing this financially,” she said.

Maydak set up shop at 1239 Washington St. in downtown Grafton four years ago. She said it takes several years before a business like Pourvino can start seeing a profit.

“We were starting to get to that point where we were turning the bend, but we couldn’t do it anymore,” she said.

Maydak said she didn’t apply for a Small Business Administration loan because she didn’t want to take out any more loans.

“That’s what we had already done to get this business running in the beginning, and we couldn’t afford to pay back any more loans,” she said.

Maydak is selling the kitchen equipment, furniture and wine to customers to help payoff the remaining bills.

Maydak and her husband said they don’t plan on opening another wine bar and will pursue work in the corporate sector, where they previously were employed before opening Pourvino.

“We heard that many of our customers are devastated, and we are too because we loved seeing them,” Maydak said. “We hope they enjoyed all the memories we had.” 




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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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