FORT MYERS, Fla. — Happy hour and weekends might look a bit different across the sunshine state, earlier today, The Department of Business and Professional Regulation suspended the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption at all bars effective immediately.
DBPR secretary Halsey Beshears said in a statement: “DBPR believes this is a necessary step to take to protect public health as we continue working in partnership with industry and health officials to combat COVID-19” said Beshears.
However, there is some good news, bars may continue to sell alcohol in sealed containers for off-premises consumption, such as curbside pickup.
Restaurants that also serve food can still serve alcohol at tables, as long as they only make 50% or less of their gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Raimon Aulen owner of The Indigo Room and The 86 Room in Downtown Fort Myers has a food and liquor license, and tells me he’s more worried about other businesses in the area.
“So it doesn’t affect us a lot, but it affects the other bars and one of the other places we have which is the 86 room, but I feel bad for some of the other businesses and the people that are in the industry who are now just starting to get back up and build up some momentum,” said Raimond Aulen, owner of The Indigo Room, and The 86 Room.
Like Millennial Brewing Company, who says they adjusted during phase 1, with curbside and delivery.
“It would be one thing if this was the first time, but it’s sort of the second time we’re doing it, and so we’ve already adjusted the business so we could handle the numbers that we were seeing,” said Kyle Cebull, owner of Millennial Brewing Company.
Cebull this is a scary time for everyone.
“We certainly understand if the agencies feel like this is safer, to sort of limit everybody's exposure, then were just going to adjust our business like we did before, and make sure that we are able to provide our product and do what we need to do,” said Cebull.