Winter Park has long been a place where locals can people-and-dog watch, flight of rosé at hand, from the Park Avenue sidewalk in front of The Wine Room or where tourists escape the theme parks to soak up some Central Florida art and culture at the Polasek Museum.
That vibe is fading, another casualty of the prolonged public health crisis that has many people avoiding crowds and retreating to their homes with takeout instead of lingering at a sidewalk table.
At least four shops along the tony retail stretch have already closed and many of the 140 others have reduced their hours. The city has temporarily stopped organizing the type of street events that make Winter Park a regional hub.
And last month shop owners at a meeting for the Park Avenue District reported businesses losses of up to 40%, said Sara Grafton, president of the group.
She said the