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Palm Beach County strictly enforcing new closing hours for restaurants

Closing time is 11 p.m.
Posted at 9:42 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 14:07:36-04

JUPITER, Fla.  — Closing time for Palm Beach County restaurants is 11 p.m.

Julianne Irizarry was in the midst of taking a family's order at Jumby Bay Island Grill in Jupiter. She said having to close the restaurant at 11 p.m. is tough.

"Initially, it's a painful thought, honestly, because I know the sales we're going to lose," she said. "However, we're going to do what we have to do to get this virus down."

Palm Beach County made it clear that no restaurant selling alcohol can be open from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. The ordinance includes nightclubs, adult entertainment establishments, tattoo parlors and cigar bars, to name a few.

RELATED: Palm Beach County says all in-dining establishments must close by 11 p.m.

"So the bottom line is this: In Palm Beach County, if it's after 11 p.m., there cannot be customers in the establishment," Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner said.

Kerner said he's tried to find a balance between public health and a stimulated economy.

"Compliance, education compliance, is the most important metric after masks, the most important action that we can take to make sure our positivity rates stay down," Kerner said.

Jason Von Purkyne said he saw the reasoning behind the ordinance.

"Eleven o'clock is not so bad, you know," he said. "You still get time to go out and see some people, get home at a safe time and start again the next day."

Irizarry said before COVID-19, the restaurant tripled its bar business between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m.

"We've put less people on and so they have lost a shift or two, some of the girls right now, so it is kind of affecting them, but we're doing our best to maximize the shifts they have," she said.