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.
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