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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Orlando judge rules against local bars and nightclubs seeking to reopen

Posted By on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 12:33 AM

  • Photo courtesy Irish Shannon's/Facebook
An Orlando judge on Wednesday threw yet another obstacle in the path of local bar owners seeking to reopen, ruling that Gov. DeSantis' order barring on-site consumption of alcohol at bars, breweries and nightclubs could stand.

Winter Park attorney John Dill – representing a number of downtown Orlando bars and clubs including Irish Shannon's Pub, Aero, Cahoots, Latitudes and the Patio, among others – filed a lawsuit in July challenging the legality and constitutionality of this order in the hopes that his clients could open their doors again. However, Circuit Judge Kevin Weiss sided with the state and DeSantis in court.

“It is not this Court’s role to second guess or otherwise micromanage Defendants’ present policy regarding the prohibition of ‘on-premises’ alcohol sales at bars and nightclubs, when the remedy is narrowly tailored to achieve the desired goal of public safety,” Weiss wrote in his ruling.

Dill signaled after the ruling that the chance of further legal action was remote.

Bars across the state have been shut down since June 26 by order of Halsey Beshears, Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

And though Beshears may have met with bar and brewery owners in Orlando on Aug. 16 to discuss ideas for opening, just a day later a spokesperson for Beshears made clear that there was no timeline for reopening Florida's bars.

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