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Local bar owner reacts to order shutting down sale of alcohol at bars

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 6:34 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -

On Friday morning, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced on Twitter that on-premise consumption of alcohol would be suspended for all Florida bars, with the order taking effect immediately, saying they are having a “Negative impact” on the emergency management plan.

An issue that some bar owners saw coming.

“We knew that this was going to happen. We could see that people were starting to get sick in other bars and around town and we did not want to be a part of the problem. So, like I said, two weeks ago we shut down and we are not planning on opening until this is pretty much over.” says JD Chester, who owns several bars, including the Rowdy Reptile in Midtown.

The order says restaurants may continue to operate in the manner of serving food and alcohol at tables, but any establishment that gets more than fifty percent of their revenue from alcohol sales must stop serving.

“We don’t know when we are going to be able to reopen and we don’t know what it is going to be like, what the climate is going to be like. We are just playing it by ear. We are not going to open early, I can tell you that much. We will wait until all of our employees and customers are safe.” says Chester.

The order also says that bars can continue to sell beverages in sealed containers as long as people don’t drink them inside of the bar, allowing those with the capability to go back to serving ‘carry-out’ drinks.

Copyright 2020 WCJB. All rights reserved.

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