Protest with an outside chance 

Apparently, no one ever told Doug Bottum that you can't change the world by sitting around on your bottom. Since May 25, the Orlando resident has been staging semi-regular morning sit-ins outside the Starbucks on Park Avenue in Winter Park. At issue: Winter Park's recent requirement that the shop remove its patio furniture from its front sidewalk.

"I believe in picking your battles," says Bottum, who works as a trainer at Kovar's Village Grill. With the aid of a handful of friends and fellow customers, he's trying to draw attention to the denial of outdoor sipping rights by bringing self-procured seating onto the property, including rocking chairs and patio pieces.

Store manager Sean Janson says the new Starbucks offered outside tables when it opened in April, but was told two weeks ago that the arrangement violated an ordinance passed in January. That law limited exterior furniture to restaurants, not "cafes and cafeterias."

Bottum says he doesn't understand why Starbucks wasn't "grandfathered in." (The business secured its spot last December, before the law was passed.) Janson waits for word of possible redress from the permits department. Time will tell if an average Joe and a cup of joe can make a difference in Winter Park.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 21, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation