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Emergency Order bans sale of alcohol on premises

Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 5:52 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

Phase two is no more; at least for bars in Florida.

It’s been a day of tough calls for management at Ms. Newby’s Liquors in Panama City Beach.

“Our employees were just getting back on their feet, they were catching up on their bills and getting back to some type of normalcy,” Ms. Newby’s Liquors Director of Operations Lindsey Pickenpaugh said. “Then the rug got pulled out from under us.”

An unexpected announcement on Twitter from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, followed by an Emergency Order, essentially shut down bars in the state once again.

“We finally got our employees back to work, making good money. and then once again, it’s taken away,” Pickenpaugh said.

The Emergency Order states coronavirus cases have gone up significantly in younger people, attributing the rise in cases to visits to bars, pubs, and nightclubs, which they claim have disregarded restrictions.

Friday’s Order states establishments, where at least 50% of their sales come from alcohol, must shut down on-premises consumption. However, they can still sell beer, wine, and hard liquor as long as it’s taken off premises.

In Panama City, Taproom will remain closed throughout the weekend and reopen next week for to-go orders. History Class Brewing Company management said they have plans to reopen as a restaurant with to-go beer.

During a day of closing for some, House of Henry in downtown Panama City moved forward with its grand opening in a pandemic world.

“We have to set up for half capacity for once, so that’s revenue we’re losing right off the get-go after we put a lot of revenue into the business,” House of Henry manager Scott Jackson said.

Even though the pub sells food and will get to stay open, management also oversees the Salty Hobo in St. Andrews.

That’s where their worry lies.

“We got a lot of staff that are going to be out of jobs again if we can’t find a solution to this and keep everyone employed,” Jackson said.

The timing couldn’t be worse for bars like Ms. Newbys who just bought thousands of dollars of inventory for the holiday weekend, and they said they can’t send it back.

You can learn more about the Emergency Order here.

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