Edgewood leaders applaud new law allowing smaller businesses to purchase liquor licenses

EDGEWOOD, Fla. — Officials in Edgewood say they’re ready to revitalize a popular stretch of their community thanks to a bill recently signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis.

House Bill 1423 allows special exceptions for smaller businesses along Orange, Hoffner, and Gatlin Avenues to buy liquor licenses at a significantly reduced cost.

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Reimund Pitz, owner of Le Coq Au Vin restaurant in Edgewood, says they were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and being limited to selling beer and wine didn’t help. However, Pitz says the idea of getting a liquor license just wasn’t viable.

“I could not apply for a liquor license right now at a cheaper rate because I didn’t meet the seating requirement,” Pitz said. “The pandemic has changed our business forever.”

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For a small restaurant like Pitz’, the license could cost up to $300,000, but relief is on the way.

House Bill 1423, which went into effect June 24, creates a special zone in the Edgewood Central District where small businesses can get the license for between $5,000 and $10,000.

Edgewood Mayor John Dowless says the impact will stretch far beyond their existing businesses.

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“What we hope is it’s going to bring in new small restaurants,” Dowless said.

Pitz says he hopes to fill out the paperwork for a liquor license within a few days.

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