STUART, Fla. — Bars in Florida can once again open their doors beginning Monday after being closed for nearly 6 months due to COVID-19.
Mark Carbone, Owner, Vine and Barley Stuart, said this year has been a roller coaster for his business.
"It didn't make sense to me when restaurants could be open and you could be sitting at a table inside or outside having a beer but you couldn't do it at my place," said Carbone.
The announcement made Thursday night by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation will allow for bars to operate at 50% indoor capacity and to serve seated patrons inside.
"I think it's a great thing," said Carbone. "Me being open helps the restaurants across the street. Restaurants being open, helped me over here."
Ray Carson, a customer, said he is glad to hear that bars will be allowed to reopen, as long as they follow all precautionary guidelines.
"It has to be self-regulations," said Carson. "Just like any of the other things, Labor Day, Memorial Day. People have to be responsible."
Carbone said he and his staff will be following all guidelines outlined in Florida's Phase Two reopening plan in order to keep customers safe.
"We have the tables separated," said Carbone. "We have the bar stools separated. We have these cute little signs, don't stand between people. Keep your distance, I have a hand sanitizer at each door when you walk in."
Halsey Beshears, secretary at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, did not specify if bars would need to go through any specific procedures before allowing customers back inside beginning on Monday.