ORLANDO, Fla. -— Bars are back open in Florida at 50 percent capacity, the first time they have been able to serve alcohol since June.
You can the signs here that say, “Welcome back,” but even as they open their doors, bar owners said they are also promoting safety first, and customers are complying.
What You Need To Know
- The bars had not been able to serve alcohol since June
- Patrons said social distancing did not prevent them from having a good time
- Some establishments will open Wednesday instead
- Some owners said they wanted to be sure they met all COVID protocols
Bar patrons at spots like Lizzy’s in downtown Orlando are happy about that.
“Everyone is having a good time social-distancing,” customer Christian Estevez said.
Estevez said people have been following the COVID-19 protocols to try to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Everyone is wearing face masks,” Estevez said. “We are washing our hands before we come and when we leave.”
Bar owners are thrilled to be able to open their doors again.
“We are over the moon, all my staff over the moon,” Embassy Bar owner Roger Wall said. “Everyone that knows us is over the moon, everyone that knows us.”
Wall, originally from Ireland, opened his bar last year and said the past few months have been difficult.
“It’s a white-knuckling situation,” Wall said. “We are holding on for dear life.”
If the announcement to reopen had not come soon, Wall said he was not sure his bar would have survived.
“The end of October would have been it," Wall said. "If it [the bar] didn’t open by the end of October, we would have said, ‘Forget about it.' We couldn’t continue.”
Wall chose not to open Monday. He said he would reopen Wednesday to give him time to ensure his place is ready to go safely.
Some other bars also chose to reopen Wednesday.