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Fort Myers business pours out Russian vodka

Posted at 6:41 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 09:54:38-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Businesses in Southwest Florida are continuing to have their voices heard, trying to do what they can to support the people of Ukraine.

One of those business owners says in the last 24 hours he dumped out vodka that has ties to Russia.

Liquor stores across the United States and Canada have started to throw out Russian-made vodka to protest what's happening in Ukraine and that's the same thing that's happening at the Nauti Parrot Oasis in Fort Myers.

MORE: States move to ban Russian-made vodka

Owner Tyler Geib said, "It's sad to see it on the news people getting displaced from their homes and all the matter of resources it's terrible to see their sovereignty being threatened. We pulled any bottle that would have any tie to Russia so Smirnoff, Stoli, more Smirnoff flavors."

And when asked about how some of those vodkas are made in the USA, Geib replied, "It is but it's more of a symbolic gesture to get it did originate in Russia quite a while ago but we wanted to pull anything that would have any kind of Russian tie to it."

And it doesn't stop at the bar — changes are being made behind the kitchen doors.

"We're dealing with our food purveyors right now about what products we bring into the kitchen that might be benefiting in any kind of Russian ties as well."

A local patron named JD adds, "That's one of the reasons a lot of us stay here all the time and we respect him for that and everybody's got to do something and when you go to the liquor store stop buying it."

JD says he has friends who are Ukrainian. "They can't even get through on the phones trying to talk," he said. "It's a different kind of genocide, it's a country being taken over for no fault of their own. The whole world's watching and Putin's gotta understand there's no way out of this."

And this isn't the only business in Southwest Florida to take a stand. Total Wine has a post on their website with the logo of the Ukrainian flag stating Stand with Ukraine. "In support of the Ukrainian people, we have removed all Russian-made products from our shelves," the notice reads.

Geib says he has no plans to order any more of those bottles of vodka in the future - but he does plan on holding a charity event in March to help raise money for people in Ukraine.