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

alcoholic drinks at a bar
Posted at 10:35 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 22:35:23-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A popular pub on South Howard is making changes to better protect customers and staff after city officials put bars and restaurants on notice.

“We need help,” Randy Esponda said. “Someone gets up from their table, they go walk to the bathroom and don’t have a mask on and we’re liable.”

ABC Action News has learned, MacDinton’s Irish Pub is reverting back to Phase 1 of operations, which includes no indoor dining and only serving customers who are seated.

MacDinton’s also put several signs up reminding patrons to mask up at all times unless actively eating or drinking at a table.

In an effort to curb reckless behavior, the City of Tampa recently warned bars and restaurant owners that they will have their alcohol permit suspended or revoked after receiving multiple violations.

Esponda said MacDinton’s is now waiting to hear from city officials about a hearing to review the businesses permit.

“At the end of the day we just want to follow the line and make sure we’re playing our part to be a good member of the community,” Esponda said.

Pictures and video from a photographer with the Tampa Bay Times showed packed bars and street parties in Ybor City on New Year’s Eve.

Code enforcement followed up the next day by inspecting 76 businesses, citing five, including MacDinton’s Irish Pub.

Southern Nights, Prana, and The Ritz, located in Ybor, were also cited on New Year’s Day. Bar Howard in the SoHo District was cited as well.

Code enforcement conducted 78 inspections on January 2, resulting in one citation at Club Skye.

"Over the last several months, we have erred on the side of education and encouragement while relying heavily on the responsibility of our residents to help pull us out of this pandemic and come back stronger than ever," Mayor Jane Castor said in a statement this week. "And while the vast majority of our businesses and residents are acting responsibly, we can’t allow a few bad actors to compromise and lengthen the recovery efforts for an entire community."