Florida Business Gets Liquor License Suspended
Liquor licenses are hard to come by in Florida. Therefore, when you are lucky enough to acquire one, you should do what you can to keep it. This means following state and local laws and other ordinances.
Restaurants and bars are facing financial struggles across the country. Many were forced to shut down due to shelter in place orders put into law to stop the spread of coronavirus. Many are still in business but are doing what they can to stay open and earn at least some revenue. This means that some businesses are violating the law.
This is the case for a tavern in Cocoa Village. George & Dragon English Tavern recently got its liquor license suspended for not complying with COVID-19 orders. On July 13, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation took action and issued an emergency suspension. The reason? The pub allegedly poses a danger to the health and safety of the public.
The owner of the George & Dragon English Tavern, however, defends his decision to keep his pub open. He and his lawyer are fighting the license suspension by drafting a lawsuit stating that it is unfair that restaurants in the area can stay open but bars have to close. They think it is unconstitutional.
The owner claims that the George & Dragon English Tavern is not different from any restaurant. It is an outdoor bar and is set up the same way as a restaurant. The employees are following the rules in terms of sanitation and safety. Customers sit 6 feet apart and masks are recommended. The difference? The George & Dragon English Tavern doesn’t serve food—just alcohol and cigars.
It doesn’t help that the rules are constantly changing. On June 26, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation decided to suspend the sale of alcohol at bars that derive most of their gross revenue from selling alcoholic beverages. That changed less than a week later. On July 1, the agency suspended alcohol sales for vendors not licensed to offer food service.
George & Dragon English Tavern does not have a license to serve food, so under this law, it must shut down. However, on July 7, the owner opened the tavern for business. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued a notice and warning. However, George & Dragon English Tavern reopened a few days later.
Even though the tavern got its liquor license suspended, it is not voluntarily shutting down. Given that it has a liquor license, a tobacco license and a package license, the owner feels George & Dragon English Tavern should be allowed to remain open.
Learn More About Liquor Licenses
It’s difficult to obtain a liquor license. Being able to use it again after a suspension may be even more challenging.
Liquor licenses are limited in Florida. If you have questions or concerns, get the advice you need from Orlando liquor license lawyer B.F. Godfrey from Godfrey Legal. He can guide you through a purchase. Schedule a consultation today. Fill out the online form or call (407) 890-0023.