ORLANDO, Fla. — As COVID-19 cases spike, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said they’re seeing problems with bars again near the University of Central Florida and in downtown Orlando.
Eleven bars were found not compliant with COVID-19 guidelines, officials said.
Demings said there were no masks, no social distancing and no hand sanitizers at the bars, but he seemed to be the most disappointed about hearing that customers of the bars were insulting members of the Strike Team. He also said bar owners were not very cooperative.
The Strike Team visited three bars near UCF:
- Knight’s Pub
- Knight Library
- Infinity Nightclub
In downtown Orlando, the team went to:
- The Basement
- The Treehouse
- The Attic
- The Office
- Saddle Up
- Celine Nightclub
Demings said he could not penalize individuals for the violations under the governor’s phase three reopening order, but he could penalize businesses.
Several major metro areas around the country are closing bars again. Demings and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said they are not considering a curfew again, which would impact large crowds at bars.
“I think some of the other metropolitan areas that have instituted curfews are related to a multitude of things,” Demings said. “Their numbers are worse than ours, they’ve had some civil unrest in their locations, and they feel like that’s the right thing to do. At this point, that isn’t something I think is necessary.”
The owner of three of the bars that failed inspections told Channel 9 that they admit there were some issues, but he’s already making changes and doesn’t want to be part of the problem.
Ryan Davis at The Stagger In said his four bars have yet to receive a visit from the Orange County Strike Team, but he’s not worried about ending up on the list.
“I don’t think it will affect my business either way. I don’t want to be shamed publicly,” he said.
Davis said he sides with the bar owners, but gets where county leaders are coming from.
"I don’t want to be in their shoes either; it’s an impossible situation,” he said. “We’re trying to dig out of a massive hole right now. We were closed for months.”
Cox Media Group