Florida Gov. Hopes to Reopen Bars and Breweries Soon

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hopes the state’s bars and breweries will be able to reopen soon after months of closure amid the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis held a roundtable discussion in St. Petersburg Thursday with bar and brewery owners from throughout the state, as well as Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Halsey Beshears.

Florida bars were closed amid the coronavirus pandemic and allowed to reopen in May at 50% customer capacity, but a spike in COVID-19 cases in June led to the suspension of on-premises alcohol sales at bars.

In South Florida, some bars have been closed dating back to March.

“It’s been a long six months almost and I know people really yearn to have a sense of normalcy,” DeSantis said.

Some bars and breweries have been able to stay afloat by selling food or to-go alcohol, but some of the owners said they had to do layoffs and close some businesses.

DeSantis said there will likely be an order from Beshears about reopening bars, but didn’t give a possible timetable.

“I’ve told him I want every business in Florida operating, and we pretty much have 99%, you guys are kind of the last ones,” DeSantis said. “Everyone else is up and running, not everyone is totally full.”