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Downtown Solvang tasting room closes after 10 years in business

Dascomb Cellars
Scott Sheahen / KEYT

SOLVANG, Calif. -- A Solvang wine tasting room was unable to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and is now closed.

In 2010, Dascomb Cellars opened a tasting room at 1659 Copenhagen Drive. On June 5th, the business boxed up their wine and returned to their vineyard in Lompoc.

"We're not getting any new business," said Dascomb Cellars owner, David Dascomb. "Having the restrictions that we have right now, which is we can't do tastings, we can only do curbside delivery, it has taken my business model and my sales model and basically stopped it."

On March 19, restrictions stopped bars and tasting rooms from letting customers in due to safety precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dascomb said some of his neighbors have worked with their landlords about rent during the months they were forced to be closed, but he was unable to do the same with his.

"My landlord unfortunately was not willing to work with us on the rent. He only agreed to defer the rent and we have a no eviction ordinance," said Dascomb

He added during negotiations to reduce the rent during the forced closure, Dascomb says his landlord was planning on increasing the rent in the summer. And more rent is not something Dascomb thinks is possible.

"In our current business model there's really only tourism," said Dascomb. "So I don't foresee tourism coming back for at least nine months to a year to get back to where we were, even if the restrictions are lifted."

On Friday, Dascomb and his team boxed up their wine. They sent out emails to their wine club members about their tasting room closure, and are heading back to their vineyard in Lompoc.

"Once wineries are allowed to do wine tasting again and we can get back to our old model and I would be interested in coming back to Solvang," said Dascomb.

However, that might not be until 2021.

In the meantime you can find Dascomb Cellars online.

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Scott Sheahen

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