Some Orlando area venues attempt to reopen despite new curfews in place

click to enlarge Audience at Motion City Soundtrack's House of Blues show - Photo by Ian Suarez for Orlando Weekly
Photo by Ian Suarez for Orlando Weekly
Audience at Motion City Soundtrack's House of Blues show

With Gov. DeSantis' announcement earlier this week that the Phase 2 reopening of Florida is going full steam ahead effective now  which included bars and clubs at a reduced capacity  some local venues are attempting to reopen while complying with social distancing rules and curfews put in place by Orlando and Orange County.

Orange County is currently under a 10 p.m. curfew and Downtown Orlando is under a tighter 8 p.m. nightly curfew  both with no set expiration date – in an ongoing attempt to deter the large and peaceful anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests in the city, spurred by the killing of George Floyd. The 8 p.m. curfew zone shuts off downtown's bustling nightlife almost completely, but businesses outside this zone don't seem to have it much better.

The House of Blues reopened on June 1 (as part of Disney Springs's phased reopening) with their emphasis now on the restaurant and bar, though they do host live music on their front porch. There are currently a slate of new safety procedures in place in light of the coronavirus pandemic included reduced capacity, social distancing recommendations and sanitizing stations. House of Blues is closing at 7 p.m. nightly to comply with Orange County's curfew.

Venue and bar Will's Pub more or less fully reopens today. Will's had for the last few weeks been operating as a package store with to-go cocktails and then set up limited outdoor seating for the Sushi & Seoul food truck. Now Will's and Indies' bars are both open for business with hours from 4-9 p.m., an earlier close due to the curfew. Owner Will Walker promises reduced capacity for social distancing indoors, outdoor seating open, and regular cleaning of surfaces throughout the night. There is no live music planned for the near future.

Beloved Mills 50 dive bar and DIY haven Uncle Lou's is re-opening this afternoon with new safety rules in place, no shows planned for the near future, and reduced hours due to the 10 p.m. curfew.

The Abbey, covered in an earlier blog, opened in May with reduced hours and safety measures in place, with the bar and kitchen open, and sporadic local live music.

Concert venues the Beacham, Hard Rock Live, Haven Lounge, Timucua Arts Foundation, the Social, Plaza Live (though they are hosting food trucks in their parking lost regularly), and the Amway Center remain closed.

If you do go out this weekend, please wear a mask and tip your bartenders beyond exorbitantly.

Please follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories to stay safe, and please support this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Central Florida. Please consider making a one-time or monthly donation. Every little bit helps.

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