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Tampa City Council to review alcohol permits of 7 businesses after repeat violations

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Posted at 11:20 PM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 07:39:33-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A handful of Tampa bars and clubs could lose their alcohol permit due to repeat violations of the city’s mask mandate.

On Thursday, Tampa City Council members will hold a public hearing on possibly suspending or revoking the alcohol licenses for MacDinton’s Irish Pub, Tangra Nightclub and Ybor Cigars Plus.

RELATED: MacDinton's making changes after city warns alcohol permit is in jeopardy

All three have been cited for violating an Executive Order that requires all customers to wear a face-covering while not actively eating or drinking.

Tangra and Ybor Cigars Plus were also cited for operating a dance floor, which is not allowed within the City of Tampa or Hillsborough County.

“The suspension of liquor licenses for mask violations has been an issue across the country,” said Dr. Jay Wolfson with USF Health.

Wolfson, who is also an attorney, says the Governor’s Executive Order does not allow local governments to enforce mask mandates with fines or penalties.

That means if alcohol permits are suspended or revoked, the decision will likely be appealed and end up in court.

“That creates a constitutional question of whether or not a local government exercising what is generally thought of constitutional terms as 'home rule' privileges to protect the health and welfare of its citizens,” said Dr. Wolfson.

Four more businesses will face the same public hearing on Monday.

City council members will hold a public hearing for 7th + Grove, Purple Heart Bar Lounge & Grill, Club Prana and The RITZ Ybor.

ABC Action News has received videos showing a crowded dance floor at The RITZ from Saturday night. The bar and music venue has not responding to our request for comment.