Manifest Distilling near destroyed Doro is shut down indefinitely

City officials told owner David Cohen that it’s too dangerous for employees to come to work.

  • By Dan Macdonald
  • | 12:00 a.m. February 2, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Manifest Distilling at 960 E. Forsyth St. is closed because of the fire at the adjacent Rise Doro apartment building.
Manifest Distilling at 960 E. Forsyth St. is closed because of the fire at the adjacent Rise Doro apartment building.
Photo by Ric Anderson
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The Rise Doro fire Jan. 28 has impacted some neighboring businesses.

Roads are blocked and traffic is being re-rerouted in the event that the damaged building collapsed.

Manifest Distilling is closed indefinitely, meaning no liquor production or on-premises sales.

David Cohen
Florida Craft Spirits Association

David Cohen, Manifest Distilling owner, doesn’t know when he can reopen. 

His business at 960 E. Forsyth St. is across the street from the burned-out building. 

City Code Enforcement has told him that until the safety of the remaining building is determined it is unsafe for any of his 16 employees to come to work.

“They told me that they are determining if a portion of the building or if the whole building will have to be knocked down,” he said.

Cohen asked the city for an hour to allow them to move distillery equipment to another site to continue production. Because his front and back entrances are close to the Doro, city officials said they couldn’t risk allowing even an hour of access.

Besides distilling beverages for sale at its location, Manifest is a contract distiller and it has a yearlong schedule to meet, Cohen said.

Even a week’s closure could cause costly delivery delays, he said.

For the last year and a half, Manifest has been able to serve cocktails containing only its products in its tasting room. Those sales account for one-third of the company’s revenue, Cohen said.

Manifest does have business interruption insurance. However, it is unclear whether it applies in this case.

Intuition Ale Works at 929 E. Bay St. south of the fire-destroyed Rise Doro apartment also has been closed because of the blaze.
Photo by Ric Anderson

Usually, the policy covers business closures caused by fire or water damage on the insured property, he said.

“This is a situation that we are municipally restricted from entering the building. We are having discussions (with the insurance company) to see how this will play out,” Cohen said.

More businesses impacted

Intuition Ale Works, at 929 E. Bay St. south of the Doro and  Manifest, also is closed.

"As you may know, all of the nearby businesses are temporarily closed until it is safe to return to the area. We will let you know as soon as we are cleared to reopen,"  Intuition posted on social media.

The Jumbo Shrimp are slightly inconvenienced, said Noel Blaha, vice president of marketing and media. There was no damage to the 121 Financial Ballpark.

The team did cancel a planned Feb. 1 job fair set to take place at the baseball stadium.

The souvenir store, which is usually open during business hours, is closed to the public until further notice.

The Jumbo Shrimp Triple-A baseball team’s season begins March 29 but collegiate baseball games are scheduled to start Feb. 23, Blaha said.



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