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“When God Closes A Door, He Leaves A Window Open” October 18, 2008

Posted by Edward von Bear in Ducks, Economics, Food, Heroes, Man Laws, News.
Tags: , ,

My wife is fond of using that expression to buck a person up when bad things happen to them. We all have had examples of an immediate disaster or disappointment which leads to a more fulfilling life in a different endeavor a few years later.

Take, for instance, Scott Zepp and Matthew LaFon, two guys from the Florida Panhandle. Their lives were permanently altered after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, especially Zepp, who lost his house during that storm. But, how did they recover from the disaster? Why, they opened “World Of Beer”, arguably the most kick-ass bar concept ever.

Four years later, Zepp is living what was once an idea simmering in the back of his mind. He and his best friend, Matthew LaFon, also of Gulf Breeze, serve up pints of barley malt in a cozy and friendly atmosphere to what has become a community of friends.

Zepp and LaFon are the owners of World of Beer in Westchase, a suburban pub that offers nearly 600 beers and has plans to open seven franchises in Hillsborough, Pinellas’ and Pasco counties in the next few years. The Trinity Town Center location in Pasco County is due to open in the first quarter of 2009 and a Tampa Palms location in the second quarter. Later in 2009, a World of Beer is slated for South Tampa.

“Matt and I always talked about opening up a place where people could have a good time,” said Zepp, 34. “We decided to see what we could do.”

And how are things going?

Overcoming early opposition from parents at nearby Westchase Elementary School, World of Beer opened in January 2007…

Today, the place bubbles with loyal customers drinking beers from every conceivable corner of the globe: Tusker from Nairobi, Kenya, and Okocim from Poland.

“When I first walked in, it was pretty overwhelming,” said Bryan Mayland, 34, who lives in Tampa. “And for someone who doesn’t know beer, it can be pretty intimidating. But the staff knows a lot of the beers and they make great suggestions.”

In addition to the regular inventory, new brews are rotated in every month.

Zepp and LaFon have since purchased [Initial Business Partner, Savino] Sterlacci’s share of the business, and exclusive rights to the name World of Beer. Their parents’ homes are no longer on the line. LaFon quit his job and works full time on the business development side of the company.

And on May 7, 2007, he became the father of son Evan.

“I am absolutely happy and there has been a 100 percent increase in my quality of life,” LaFon said. “To be able to work side by side with my best friend and able to take something you believe in and make it grow, it doesn’t get any better.”

Well done, lads. Well done.


1. Wickedpinto - October 18, 2008

10 years ago I could have done that!


2. Cathy - October 18, 2008

Pinto I’d come to your bar and listen to your crazy stories.

Lemme know when you open one up.

3. Dave in Texas - October 18, 2008

If that’s true then maybe we should ask a neighbor to watch the house while we’re gone instead of God.

4. Pupster - October 18, 2008

Heh. Well Dave, he was born in a barn…

5. MCPO Airdale - October 18, 2008

Another small business success. Hopefully, BHO won’t win and tax them out of existence.

6. Josie - October 4, 2009

This post is sick. Suggesting that this disaster occurred so these men could open a pub was God’s will and all…doesn’t anyone see anything wrong with this??

7. geoff - October 4, 2009

Suggesting that this disaster occurred so these men could open a pub was God’s will and all…doesn’t anyone see anything wrong with this??

Think it through, Josie: God doesn’t close the door because he opens a window, he leaves a window open if he has to close the door. Silver linings don’t justify clouds, but every cloud has a silver lining.

8. Michael - October 4, 2009

God doesn’t close the door because he opens a window, he leaves a window open if he has to close the door.

*jaw drops*


9. geoff - October 4, 2009

That’s not a sign of a sudden conversion: I was just ‘splainin’ the title.

10. BrewFan - October 4, 2009

For a moment there I thought geoff was one of the elect

11. Michael - October 4, 2009

Aw, Geoff, I knew you were gonna respond to my comment by sayin’ that you were just being logical. Knew it. Was waiting for it. Laughed when you said it.

I don’t believe you. Not for a minute. Nope. Nosirree Bob.

I see right there in #7 clear and irrefutable evidence of the gentle admonition and instruction of the Holy Spirit (not to mention the beneficial effects of having been exposed to Pure Lutheran Doctrine™). You won’t convince me otherwise. My prayers are working. End of story.

12. Michael - October 4, 2009

Also, I have been praying for a new flag, maybe from someplace really obscure that The Hostages will never get. I sure hope that getting this new flag is in accordance with the Divine Will.

13. owachen - August 12, 2019

Wonderful story, thank you for sharing.

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