The owner of the Knight’s Pub in Orlando contended Wednesday that the bar is being used as a “scapegoat” after the state suspended its alcoholic beverage license for violating coronavirus reopening guidelines.
Owner Michael D'Esposito released a statement disputing the bar violated a 50 percent indoor occupancy cap after reopening on June 5, when bars in most of Florida were allowed to operate with seated service. He also argued that the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation used 2019 social-media photos from the bar as examples of customers breaking social distancing requirements.
“Unfortunately, despite our limited reopening that was encouraged by our political leaders, our establishment is now being used as the scapegoat for all COVID-19 cases in the surrounding Orlando area,” D’Esposito said, referring to the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
The state department on Monday announced the license suspension, pointing to 13 employees and at least 28 customers testing positive for the novel coronavirus. On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis used the suspension to announce crackdowns on restaurants and bars that fail to follow coronavirus guidelines included in an executive order.“And then, people will hopefully get the message that these guidelines are in place for a reason,” DeSantis said.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.