Bars to remain closed for now, despite roundtable discussing reopening

Bars still haven't been able to reopen since being told to shut down months ago, and it looks like it's going to stay that way despite increasing pressure.

There are nothing but beers to-go at Broken Strings Brewery in Orlando. It's been like this for months. When co-owner Charles Frizzell thinks of his business, he says he feels melancholy.

"One day you’re solving problems, and the next day you have a whole new set of problems that you weren’t expecting," said Frizzell.

He's one of many beer and brewery owners who met with officials from the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation earlier this week. The group discussed reopening, but since then there have been no updates. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis doubled down on keeping bars closed at another event Wednesday.

"We’re not making any changes at this minute in terms of that." 

The news hit bar owners hard.

"It’s normal. It’s just what we’ve come to expect," said Frizzell.

"I am absolutely heartbroken. I thought that we were getting someplace," said Beth Ann Meyer, owner of Maggie's Pub in Palm Bay.

Meyer says her employees have been out of work for five months. She's frustrated restaurants are treated differently.

"COVID’s going to be here for a long time. So we’re going to have to learn to live with it. We can’t be fearful of it and we can’t be fearless of it," said Meyer.

Charles Frizzell is finding new ways to manage his business. On Monday, he bought a hot dog cart and plans to reopen sooner with a food license.

"A small, little investment that gets us opening soon may actually be a good long-term investment for us in the future."

The governor said Wednesday he's like to first focus on moving the counties in South Florida into Phase Two of reopening before reopening bars.