NewsTreasure CoastRegion Martin County


Bar, restaurant owners consider taking legal action over alcohol sale restrictions

'Don't punish the good guys,' Stuart restaurant owner says
Posted at 12:17 AM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 08:20:14-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla.  — Various Treasure Coast bars and restaurants are trying to fight back on restrictions to alcohol sales that they claim continue to threaten their businesses and livelihoods.

Some are now considering taking legal action.

The owners of Vine & Barley in downtown Stuart sent a letter to county leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis to explain their frustrations with how the new restriction is impacting them.

"All businesses are essential," Mark Carbone wrote. "We just want the word out -- don't punish the good guys."

Carbone's son and bar manager, Eric Carbone, said they were following all of the regulations and guidelines before the restrictions.

"These businesses that do not follow the rules and never intend to should be shut down for a week or more so they feel the consequences of their actions rather than us," Eric Carbone read aloud from the letter.

Eric Carbone hopes county commissioners might consider contacting the governor's office to voice the frustrations of local bar owners.

RELATED: Bars in Florida can no longer serve alcohol for 'on-premises consumption'

Otherwise, Vine & Barley might consider consulting with an attorney to find other means of financial relief.

"We've paddled down that river," Eric Carbone said. "We're going to see what happens, but it's definitely something that we're thinking about."

The owners of Lures Riverfront Restaurant in Jensen Beach might also pursue legal action.

"I'm not an attorney, but we're going to discuss things and get some legal advice and see where we go from there," co-owner Mike Denyes said.

He has not received any financial relief since taking a major hit to business.

His restaurant can still serve food, but alcohol sales are a big part of their sales.

"We're trying to keep everybody working as much as we can," Denyes said.