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Pelican Pub reopens after briefly closing due to rash complaints

Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 23:13:58-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A downtown St. Petersburg bar at the center of a health-related investigation is reopening its doors Thursday.

The Pelican Pub reopened just days after customers complained of getting skin rashes there.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Downtown St. Pete bar 'voluntarily closing' amid complaints of rashes, inspectors find bed bug

The pub said the health department gave it a clean bill of health Thursday. Crews removed a bench on Wednesday, which may have been the bench that allegedly caused the mysterious rash outbreak.

Pest control also sprayed the pub after state inspectors found a live bed bug on the bench Tuesday.

Rachael Renn was the first of the customers who complained of having a rash, she spoke with ABC Action News reporter Ryan Smith.

“Pretty emotionally and physically taxing,” Renn said. “It was worrisome and stressful and just a crazy world when I’ve never been through anything like this.”

Renn said she has missed two days of work and has seen three doctors since the rash surfaced Saturday morning.

“The worst pain I’ve ever been through," said Renn. "Burning, itching, spreading, just the itch was horrible."

A spokesperson with Pelican Pub said staff will be taking extra precautions.

“Any place a person could sit down, any surface not touched by food will now be cleaned with soap and water instead of bleach and water.”

In addition, customers will no longer be allowed to write on the walls due to possible allergic reaction to the ink in the markers.