Durham Distillery using alcohol to make free hand sanitizer for local restaurants during coronavirus pandemic

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- While many schools, offices and buildings are shutting down because of the recent spread of COVID-19, Durham Distillery is opening its doors.

"There's vulnerability in the hospitality industry right now," co-owner Melissa Katrincic said. "We don't know which way this is going to go, so if we can help, we really want to be that for this community and really rally together."

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"We realize we are in a unique situation," co-owner Lee Katrincic said. "We actually have the right permits to have this high-proof alcohol that is a great disinfectant that can be shared among the business community."

Lee and Melissa, a husband-and-wife team, own Durham Distillery and are offering local businesses two liters of free homemade sanitizer with an appointment. The sanitizer is made up of 70 percent ethanol and 30 percent water.

"For us, any type of cost is -- we don't really care," Lee. "We want to be able to help the community and help these restaurants be able to stay safe."

The Katrincics hope this gives restaurants and bars an action plan with confidence and support to stay open

"We rally together. I think that's why we want to be integral in helping all of us get through it," Melissa said. "This is really where you see humanity at its best."

If you're interested in getting sanitizer, you can make an appointment by calling Erin McMuller, general manager at (919) 390-2896 or emailing erin@durhamdistillery.com.

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