ORLANDO, Fla. — After concerns over coronavirus forced the closures of bars not once but twice statewide, this weekend is giving something for bar owners to celebrate.
This is the first full weekend they’ve been open in months and people are turning out to support the businesses.
Many spots stayed busy throughout Saturday evening.
The fast return of customers during their first weekend back is giving a lot of bar owners in downtown Orlando some hope.
Groups of people filled the sidewalks Saturday night, bar hopping in the area for the first time in months.
Inside, bars stayed busy as customers filed inside to grab a beer and to catch the UCF win over Georgia Tech.
Drake Parker made his way out to Embassy Irish Pub for the evening and says he and others are feeling comfortable coming back.
“I think people are starting to get out. People are a little less scared. And I think it’s important to get out and show that it’s not dangerous to be out right now, as long as you’re following the rules the right way and having a good time,” Parker said.
The owner of Embassy Irish Pub said people are being respectful about following the rules, wearing masks, and social distancing.
As a reminder, there are restrictions with the reopening though. It’s seated-service only inside bars and they can only seat to 50 percent capacity. And you’ll need to have a mask on when you’re not sitting down.
Even with the restrictions, bar owners said they’re happy with the turnout they’re seeing and hopeful that if the reopening continues to go smoothly, they can start recuperating some of their losses.