Enterprise House owners Seem Earlier than Council on COVID Violations

TAMPA – Several restaurants and bars have gone before the Tampa City Council on charges of COVID security breaches.

What you need to know

  • Restaurant / bar owners seek advice on COVID security breach
  • 7. + Grove identified as a violation, but due to corrective action, the license has not been suspended
  • 3 more companies will find out their fate next month
  • More coronavirus headlines

The city council meeting on Monday was heated – four companies threatened to suspend alcohol permits. Three of these bars will see their fate next month.

The city council found that the owners of another bar, 7th + Grove, violated these regulations, but the liquor license was not suspended.

The owners of the bar in Ybor City appeared before the city council on Monday. Enforcement of the code showed December and January photos of a full bar with staff and customers wearing no masks.

This photo from 7th + Grove was shown to members of the city council on Monday.

Co-owner Dr. Jamaris Glenn admitted to council members that she was not social distancing but said the punishment could put him out of business.

“Suspending our liquor license would absolutely destroy our business and affect our employees and suppliers,” said Glenn. “Not only is our liquor license at risk, we are now in danger of losing our business altogether because our landlord fears its wet zone license is at risk.”

In front of the town hall, about half a dozen people carried signs protesting the city’s actions against companies that repeatedly violate coronavirus restrictions.

“It is unacceptable for the city council to target small businesses just because they do not want to monitor their customers for not wearing a mask,” said protester Vanessa Vasquez.

Back at the hearing, Glenn asked the council members for indulgence.

“Today we ask for your mercy and an ongoing partnership with the city to provide the safest environment for our employees and customers during this difficult time,” he said.

Assistant prosecutor Susan Johnson-Velez said there was clearly a violation but found the bar has been compliant since then. She also said the bar provided a graph of the corrective actions they are taking.

Council members determined that the deal was in breach, but their corrective actions did not suspend the bar’s alcohol permit. The owners declined an interview request.

The other companies’ hearings continued until next month.

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