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Florida's top business regulator to meet with bar, brewery owners to discuss reopening safely

Posted at 6:46 PM, Jul 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-26 18:46:58-04

Florida's top business regulator is planning to meet with bar and brewery owners to discuss how they can reopen safely.

Secretary Halsey Beshears announced in a Tweet Saturday, that he was going to set meetings with bars and breweries throughout the state to discuss ideas on how to reopen.

In that Tweet, he said, “We will come up with a Safe, Smart and Step-by-step plan based on input, science and relative facts on how to reopen as soon as possible.”

A month ago, Gov. DeSantis banned alcohol consumption at its bars for the second time this year. It was done in response to a large increase in COVID-19 cases and pictures circulating showing people inside bars without masks on and not social distancing.

Local bar owners felt like they were targeted and that a few bad actors ruined it for everyone.

“We were doing everything right at our bars, social distancing, you know, nobody’s sitting at the bar, going at half capacity, and I just don’t understand. Now you have some of these bars that are getting food licenses and selling a bag of chips, and that’s allowing them to stay open right now," said Mitchell Faver, owner of Our Bar in St. Pete.

Faver says his business was only open for a year.

He said he has plenty of room to keep people socially distanced and operating as a restaurant, but he said the closure can't go on forever.

Last week, the Florida United for Craft Brewers Organization sent a letter to Gov. DeSantis and Secretary Beshears saying more than 100 breweries are risking closing completely. The letter said nearly a third of the 10,000 jobs supported by the industry could dissolve if the ban extended for more than two weeks.

It is not known at this time who Secretary Beshears is set to meet with.