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Downtown Orlando bars, clubs need new permits to sell alcohol after midnight

ORLANDO, Fla. — Bar and club owners in downtown Orlando are facing a major deadline Monday.

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Downtown bars and clubs will need a new permit to sell alcohol after midnight.

This comes as no surprise because this change has been months in the making.

The new rules, which are being implemented today, include a requirement for establishments serving alcohol after midnight to obtain a permit from the city.

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In addition, there are new safety rules that include metal detector wands for businesses with an occupancy of over 50 people, as well as ID scanners to keep a log of patrons.

“There are nights where you do need that, said bar owner Kevin Little. “It’s warranted and we already do that. But there’s nights where we don’t need it and now it allows you to maybe not even operate because you just can’t afford to pay that so you can’t even open.”

The new requirements come with a cost, according to Little, who owns multiple bars in downtown Orlando.

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He worries that some businesses won’t be able to keep up with the added expenses, which could force them to close their doors by midnight.

Bar owners who wish to obtain the permit had to submit documents such as business tax receipts, occupancy numbers, and their liquor licenses.

Many bar owners we spoke with off-camera found the permitting process to be a pain and unnecessary.

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If businesses fail to comply with the new rules, the code enforcement department and police department will get involved and handle the situation appropriately.

Businesses with the permit will have a city decal that shows their hours of operation, occupancy, and permit expiration date.

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Q Mccray

Q McCray, WFTV.com

Q McCray is an award-winning general assignment reporter.