PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — A little bit of hammering here and some much-needed paint applied over there can only mean one thing, renovations at the Pawn Shop Lounge in downtown West Palm Beach.
"We were having one of our best years this previous year till the COVID-19 came in and wiped us out," owner Cleve Mash said.
Mash said the lounge has been closed since March 15. With the upgrades just about done he wanted to open back up but therein lies the problem.
"We've seen other places start off as 25%, 50%. I'm not sure why we're not getting any answers for ourselves," he said.
On May 4, Governor DeSantis announced restaurants and retail stores could operate at 25%. Then, days later he said they could conduct business at 50%. But bars, pubs, and nightclubs are not among the locations reopening since more than half of their revenue comes from the sale of alcoholic drinks. Mash wants to know the guidelines for his industry to open back up.
"Theme parks are opening but nobody has talked about bars or nightclubs that don't provide food," he said.
Mash said he would like for it to be left up to the consumer to decide when they're ready to return.
"If they're taking the right precautions I would," one woman said.
Mash said he's not sure how long he can keep things afloat since he's already dipped into his savings.