STRENGTH IN FLEXIBILITY: RusTeak Ocoee and Feather & Quill

The owners of RusTeak Ocoee and Feather & Quill have made changes to keep their business going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • | 2:15 p.m. April 7, 2020
RusTeak chefs donned personal protective equipment to adjust to the times.
RusTeak chefs donned personal protective equipment to adjust to the times.
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Editor’s note: Strength in Flexibility is an ongoing series highlighting changes local businesses are making to adapt to life during the coronavirus pandemic. 

March is typically one of the busiest months of the year for restaurateurs Brian Buttner and Jonathan Canonaco.

The F&Q market offers a selection of fresh sauces made in-house.
The F&Q market offers a selection of fresh sauces made in-house.

The two are co-owners of RusTeak Restaurant and Wine Bar in Ocoee and the recently opened Feather & Quill at The Grove Orlando near the town of Windermere. They also own RusTeak in College Park, as well as The Stubborn Mule and the Menagerie Eatery & Bar in downtown Orlando. 

After the COVID-19 pandemic caused the closure of local restaurants across the country, RusTeak and Feather & Quill both have adopted takeout menus. Additionally, both now offer delivery through apps such as Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates.

“We shrunk down our menu dramatically (at Feather & Quill) to include some pick-up items and delivery items,” Canonaco said. “Some of the food at Feather & Quill was a little more intensive and meant to be eaten on a proper plate in the restaurant, so we curtailed our menu to be a little bit more to-go and carryout friendly. At RusTeak in Ocoee, we have a substantially stronger clientele with it being an established restaurant for nine years. We have a healthier following of customers calling in for to-go and showing their support.”

Takeout and delivery options aren’t the only changes that have been made at RusTeak and Feather & Quill. Both also have been partly converted into mini markets that offer some essential items — such as cleaning supplies and toilet paper. The markets also offer a variety of different meats, fresh pastas and sauces, pickled vegetables and even whole lasagnas ready for the oven.

“Immediately with Feather & Quill, we brainstormed and hopped into a market,” Canonaco said. “We created the F&Q Market where we put out some produce coolers and some beverage coolers and we display products available for pickup and carryout. Some of the items we put out were some of our meats. … Our executive chef at Feather & Quill is really into charcuterie and he had a substantial inventory of charcuterie that he had been aging. He sliced those up into smaller portions, we cryovaced them and we’re able to sell them as if we were a boutique butcher shop.” 

The food is only part of the experience when it comes to dining at RusTeak or Feather & Quill, as both restaurants also put an emphasis on drinks. Customers looking to wash their meals down with an adult beverage can order one with whatever meal or market item offered at RusTeak or Feather & Quill. Both restaurants not only sell alcoholic beverages in cans or bottles to go, but they also sell different craft cocktails to go, as well.  

Canonaco said although times are tough, they are doing what they can to support their employees. Each day, Canonaco and Buttner feed their employees and their families for free. They also came up with a way to not only keep them working, but also to utilize the extra time to spruce up their restaurants.

“We have many employees who have worked for us for about five to 10 years, so we created some waiver/maintenance shifts at the restaurants,” Canonaco said. “We’ve been beautifying our properties through painting, refinishing tables, deep cleaning and doing some design changes so we can keep people working — even though the food sales aren’t there. So, when the restaurants are ready to re-open, they’re going to look better than ever.”


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