4 liquor licenses suspended on COVID-19 violation

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The alcoholic beverage licenses of four establishments were suspended by the state on Tuesday due to violations of regulations aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced the emergency suspension of licenses for Pegasus Lounge & Package in Tampa, Mathers, Shots & Joysticks in Orlando and Rusty Raw Bar & Grill in Lee County and Pockets Pool & Pub in Tallahassee.

The state agency reported that businesses have exceeded the 50% maximum indoor capacity limit and served alcohol to patrons with “shoulder-to-shoulder” in bar areas.

On 26 June the department secretary, Halsey Beashers, banned the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption at businesses that derive more than 50% of their gross revenue from the sale of alcohol. The move essentially closed most bars and nightclubs, although establishments could remain open if there was sufficient revenue from food sales. Beishers took this step because the bars were in violation of the requirements imposed to try to stop the spread of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by coronovirus.

Beshears have recently held private meetings with craft-brewery and bar owners to discuss ways to reopen businesses.

The agency has not announced what has been discussed or what action can be taken to help those businesses.