State officials shut down to-go cocktail sales, NCFL bar owner reacts

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) --
Local restaurants and bars are facing a new obstacle amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 as the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco have officially shutdown all to-go cocktail sales.

TV20 spoke with T.J. Palmieri, the owner of the downtown bar Madrina's in Gainesville, who had just invested $1,000 into his new to-go cocktail project.

"It sucks," says Palmeri. "I think it would be nice to be able to help ourselves out in this situation. Maybe the state could, instead of talking about helping small businesses, [actually] help small businesses and allow us to do some things to keep our doors open instead of waiting for a handout because that's not what any of us want to do."

Palmeri says business was doing so well, bringing in close-to-normal sales, he was even in the process of hiring back three full-time employees.