Cork It celebrates a year of pouring fine wine – Gainesville Times

Weeks after opening Cork It on the square, the pandemic hit and restaurants began to close their doors. To survive, Stanley said he quickly developed a plan with Tortorelli, shifting to curbside pickup for both wine club members and other patrons. The wine bar also held online wine tastings and offered “deals of the week.” 

“You open a business and it’s like the whole word is against you at that point with the pandemic,” Stanley said. “This is not something that just affects Gainesville, the community or the state of Georgia. This is something affecting the whole world. I think it was great to have Jim there. He’s such a great business partner and was extremely optimistic.”

For the first few months in business, he said the wine club had around 40 people. All members pay $65 a month to receive three bottles of wine with tasting notes. They also gain access to an exclusive monthly wine tasting event.

Today, the club’s membership has more than doubled, now serving 85 people. 

Stanley said he credits their success during the pandemic to the wine club, COVID-19 protocols, curbside sales, marketing and dedicated six-person staff. 


“We have such an incredible team, they show up on time and work hard,” Stanley said. “They consistently impress me with their desire to better themselves.”

In April, Stanley and Totorelli said they plan to open a second Cork It location on East Main Street in Buford, next to Aqua Terra Bistro. Like the Gainesville business, the co-owners said the
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