‘We are over this’: Florida restaurant says they will reopen dining room despite public outrage

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It's not a joke, apparently.

As Florida continues to struggle with rising coronavirus cases and the business closures due to the pandemic, one Windermere restaurant said in a now-deleted Facebook post that they plan to reopen their dining room on Friday, May 1.

“33 & Melt will be reopening for dine-in guests May 1,” wrote the restaurant. “Not sure about you, but we are over this.”

Orange County’s Mandatory Safer at Home Order ended April 9, when Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ executive order went into effect. That order closed restaurant dining rooms until April 30. It also limits gatherings to no more than 10 persons and requires restaurants to limit customer entry to 50 percent of their capacity.

“Seating must be staggered and limited to ensure seated parties are separated by a distance of at least six feet, in accordance with CDC guidelines,” says the order.

Public health officials are worried that growing pressure to reopen businesses will reverse efforts to slow the disease’s spread, and may even lead to a second wave. Last weekend, now in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, while others never completely closed.

Currently, there are 27,127 active COVID-19 cases in Florida, with 867 deaths. Windermere is located in Orange County, which has had 1,235 cases and 27 deaths (as of Tuesday). That could explain the negative reactions by customers and others to the post.

“I used to like going there with my family,” wrote Carrie Smith. “Not sure what the owner is thinking right now but just have to believe that she is having a temporary lapse in judgment due to severe stress.”

Others noted that the restaurant’s menu could be recreated more safely at home.” If anyone requires a recipe for the elusive and complicated grilled cheese, I’m happy to share mine,” wrote Steven Tarca.

“Is this a joke?” asked Leisa Brown. “There’s an executive order (separate from the stay at home order) that ends May 8th. If you open before that, you are not only irresponsible and disrespectful, but also breaking the law. You lost us as return customers and I hope you reconsider your decision and rude comments if you want to remain a part of this community.”

It’s not a joke, apparently. One customer named Debbie Ann wrote:

We are huge fans of your establishment but your blatant disregard for the health and safety of the community makes me question if we can continue to be patrons. There has been no state or county announcements that dine-in will be reopened on May 1 and your decision is reckless and could cost someone, even you, their lives. So many people are immunocompromised and you and your customers could devastate a family. I’m sorry, but this is just plain selfish and wrong. It saddens me, but we won’t be back if you follow through with this horrible decision.

To which 33 & Melt responded, “sorry you feel that way Debbie and we for sure have appreciated your patronage. But, we are reopening.”

On a Facebook share about this post, Orlando Weekly reader Manuel Lombard added this image below, a parody of the Gadsen “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

Maybe we’ll see this flag at one of this week’s “Operation: Reopen Florida” protests.

We reached out to 33 & Melt and will update this post when they respond.

___

This article was first published on Orlando Weekly.

Creative Loafing


35 comments

  • SongOfTheSouth

    April 23, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    It is ridiculous for people to be “angry” over the fact that a restaurant in Windermere is opening its’ doors on May 1st.

    People have gotten so used to being locked up, that perhaps in the near future, we will be looking at jail sentences differently.

    Instead of being angry, those who live in and around Windemere (not a highly populated area), have a choice. If they don’t believe the time is ripe for them to go there, they can just stay away. If they don’t think that just cutting cusomers in half is sufficient, they can tell that to the owners of the eatery.

    Personally, I like the idea of having some actual separation between customers at each table.

    I also want to see every employee wearing masks and gloves when preparing or serving food.

    I for one, don’t think that there will be a crowd, waiting to go into this restaurant, until people fee more comfortable in doing so.

    However, our culture is becoming so used to being in our own little confines, that we are angry when someone wants to break out of their own jail and try a little bit of freedom. This will take some time for people to get used to, but if we are to save our country from complete collapse, the country must get back to a semi-normal life in the not too distant future.

    We will have to learn to balance safety and economic viability. Just like “love and marriage,” we can’t have one, without the other.

    • Mike valente

      April 24, 2020 at 7:43 am

      Nope.
      This is a public safety issue, not a freedom issue.

      • Shawn W

        April 24, 2020 at 2:15 pm

        Nope. It actually is NOT. People that fear for their safety can stay at home. One person’s rights dont end where YOUR fear begins.

        • Sherry

          April 25, 2020 at 12:00 am

          Exactly! The resulting economic recession is going to end up hurting and even destroying more people than the actual virus itself. I’m glad they’re re-opening.

      • Neil Foster

        April 24, 2020 at 3:58 pm

        Nonsense… Germans used to wonder how Hitler brought in tyranny, this is just an upgrade

      • Neil Foster

        April 24, 2020 at 5:13 pm

        You are free to stay safe at home. We are free to go out and dine

      • Marc cazier

        April 29, 2020 at 4:15 pm

        You must be a idiot you have been played stay in jail then

        • Neil

          April 29, 2020 at 4:21 pm

          You are absolutely correct Marc. The whole world is being played for the sheep they are

  • Nancy Tokarz

    April 23, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    How long is this oppressive government overreach gonna last? I don’t want employees wearing nasty gloves all over. Food prep gloves… good. Just random glove wearing touching everything is useless. This virus is in the environment. Can’t change it. We are past the point of flooding the hospitals. The old and sick can stay home. This has become a political virus. Marxist Dems want everyone begging for the government checks. They want small businesses to fail. I say we disregard these forced closures, use common sense, and save the economy from total collapse.

  • Andrew Nappi

    April 23, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    All of the ridiculous government brainwashed statists who complained are free not to go there.
    Leave the guy alone. Why is it that when sheep want to go to the slaughter they demand those who do not must accompany them? STFU and stay home people. 33 Melt, you do what you gotta do.

  • Glenn Reihing

    April 23, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    If they are so gung ho on opening, let them provided they can offer Covid testing. Because how do you know if that customer walking in isn’t an asymptomatic carrier? Or just a carrier since the disease is highly infectious the first 48-72 hours that you contract it (from the CDC website)?

    If you can provide this, then by all means open. This way county government and health officials can monitor the infection rates and make appropriate decisions.

    • Renee Leavy

      April 24, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      how do you know that the person sitting next to you on the bus is not shedding flu virus?

    • Neil Foster

      April 24, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      Would that be the same CDC that’s been involved in numerous cases of criminality fraud and which Bill Gates is in business with along with his big pharma drug pushers?

      Are you serious? You need to do your own research. The common cold has never been tested for before and neither should it be anymore than there is any need for one of Gates’ toxic vaccines

    • Neil

      April 24, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      Testing is just another compliance dog training exercise. I was never tested for a common cold before, I won’t be starting now, especially when they’ve already admitted that testing kits have been pre-contaminated with the ‘deadly’ virus. They can stick it up their own asses

    • Marc cazier

      April 29, 2020 at 4:17 pm

      You are one brainwashed sheep

  • Mike

    April 23, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    These owners are just dumb as shit. Let them open. I for one will be hoping for their infections and deaths. Not something I would ever wish on anyone normally, but in this case, they deserve everything they get. So do all the rest of you schmucks whining about oppression. Florida has given us far more freedom than other states have. If you still can’t appreciation that, I hope you get infected and drop dead too.

    • Neil

      April 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm

      Your opinion means nothing as it clearly cones from a viewpoint of mainstream media indoctrinated ignorance. As the band The Manic Street Preachers once sang, “If you tolerate this then your children will be next”…. Good luck with your servitude to tyrants

    • Neil

      April 24, 2020 at 7:10 pm

      You’re either a troll, a green party eugenics lover and on crack and welfare… Do you even know what you’re wishing for? Don’t you realise that Hitler and Stalin wiped out the unemployed, alcoholics, drug addicts and the mentally ill… It sounds like you fall into all 4 categories. I think done the road you may have more to worry about than a common cold

    • Marc cazier

      April 29, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Get a grip your a brainwashed sheep the American people have been played

  • Robert Kachanis

    April 23, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    I’m done with this bullshit the “shut down” is a major dismissal of my constitutional rights and the freedom that I served and fought for. For you paranoid people sit in your house with your masks and think happy happy thoughts. If you choose to isolate that is your constitutional right but don’t impinge on my rights for freedom.

  • Dan Lanske

    April 24, 2020 at 7:07 am

    If I lived closer to Windermere I would go just to show support I cheer on this restraunt, and encourage yall to give it your patronage!

  • Sherry

    April 24, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Good for them. Finally someone standing up against these ridiculous stay at home mandates. I want to thank them for their bravery and courage.

  • Charlie

    April 24, 2020 at 2:50 pm

    If they want to reopen then more power to them. If you feel immunocompromised and are not ready to eat out then dont go
    Some of us are ready to get out.

  • Neil

    April 24, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    As of the date of this article – 0.0019 of 1% of the population of Orange County, Florida have died allegedly from Covid-19. We know that there have been presumed to have died cases from Covid-19 so I expect that number of 27 is lower. The whole thing is a farce and makes no sense, statistically or otherwise to justify any form of lockdown. There are no more people dying this year than last year and in many years prior, many more have died without this kind of reaction from political entities who are clearly under orders from people way above their pay grade, including the puppet president who has no more say in this lunacy than I have.

    There is clearly another agenda at play here, right across the world as the global economy was already set to collapse. The powers that nobody ever hears about behind the scenes have pushed the whole man-made global warming fairy tale for decades now and people were just not buying the lies anymore and had no interest in impoverishing themselves through austerity measures, so guess what? You’re now being forced into austerity. Mandated vaccines have been troublesome too and many more are waking up to the dangers of big pharma vaccine pushers, Gates (Eugenicist talking head for the Rockefeller eugenicist clique) & Fauci (Fakey) to name but two…
    WHEN WILL THE WORLD WAKE UP?

    You are now being trained like Pavlov’s dogs into believing that we need ‘New Normals’ and that the world will never be the same again. Wheere have we heard that before? Oh yes, after 9/11 when the introduction of the Patriot Act stripped away almost all of your rights. Now, you’re going to loose them all if you continue to ignore what’s going on, gaze adoringly at you TV sets believing every piece of garbage thrown at you from utter liars, and sit in your homes being terrorized by the media and your own government, as is happening across the world to everyone.
    If you allow this to continue you will only have yourselves to blame as you sleepwalk into absolute tyranny…

    WHAT WILL YOU TELL YOUR GRANDCHILDREN WHEN THEY ASK YOU, “What did you do when the world became a fascist dictatorship?” “Oh, I was watching CNN and Fox and never saw it coming. I was staying at home like a good little sheep doing as i was told by criminals masquerading as public officials and medical ‘experts’ who lied through their teeth at every opportunity. Ho hum…. Sorry.”

    Is that you? If so, you should be ashamed of your self.

    I applaud this restaurant owner for behaving like an adult and taking responsibility for himself, his family and his staff.

    If only there were millions more like him these criminals masquerading as public officials and medical experts, Bill Gates and Fauci, would be in lockdown behind bars by now!

    I thought this was the land of the free and home of the brave?

    You have been trained like monkeys at the zoo in ‘Social Distancing’… For the hard of thinking, it is impossible to be social and distant. You have been trained to wear masks thereby inhaling your exhaled CO2…. Are you stupid? You are now being trained by Walmart to walk only one way in the store… How much more insanity will you take?

    Will you simply bend over and take it? Or will get off your asses and save your country from tyrants!

    To the police and military. You swore an oath to defend the country, the constitution and the citizens from enemies DOMESTIC and foreign.

    We are not the enemy. The enemy are the criminals who order you to arrest defenseless women in public parks who are simply taking their children for some exercise. Are you insane or are you complicit in this tyranny? The military have been used in unjustified wars based on lies for the past 20 years and before, including both world wars and Vietnam.

    Do either of you, defenders of the nation, the constitution and its people have any conscience?

    HONOR YOUR OATH TO DEFEND THE PEOPLE AGAINST SUCH TYRANNY FROM WITHIN.

    You are under no obligation to follow unjust orders and you would be genuine heroes if you were to do so.

    • louistheguy

      April 24, 2020 at 3:30 pm

      Now that’s a very detailed reply Neil. Are many people in Florida ready to engage their brain and remember their rights. The rights given to them under GOD. In case they didnt realise the government is not their God, to believe that they would have to have fallen into a godless communist state. Oh wait…

      • Mike

        April 24, 2020 at 8:33 pm

        God doesn’t exist. He’s imaginary. Idiot.

        And these “rights” you’re whining about need to be rewritten. The Bill of Rights is antiquated and obsolete. What they say has no bearing on our lives in the 21st century.

  • Charles

    April 24, 2020 at 3:32 pm

    Yes, more of this please! Everyone who *chooses to open* has that right! Anyone afraid of getting sick can *choose to stay home*. That is freedom, that is how Americans have the right to live. The gov’t never had the right to command shutdowns, and when this is over, I can only hope more Americans will understand that after all the damage to lives and livelihoods caused *by the gov’t* has become even more obvious than it already is.

  • Hungry Elf

    April 24, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    No one is obligated to go to this restaurant just because they open.
    When it goes well for them, other competitors could copy.

    Meanwhile, even if everybody tries to stay safe (from the 6-foot social distancers to those who’ll stay 6+ miles away), there’s one we really have to guard against. How do we protect against the driver who accidentally steps on the accelerator instead of the brakes and crashes through? (That and other sources of death … get a life … and insurance!)

  • Neil

    April 24, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Your opinion means nothing as it clearly cones from a viewpoint of mainstream media indoctrinated ignorance. As the band The Manic Street Preachers once sang, “If you tolerate this then your children will be next”…. Good luck with your servitude to tyrants

  • Neil

    April 24, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    You’re either a troll, a green party eugenics lover and on crack and welfare… Do you even know what you’re wishing for? Don’t you realise that Hitler and Stalin wiped out the unemployed, alcoholics, drug addicts and the mentally ill… It sounds like you fall into all 4 categories. I think done the road you may have more to worry about than a common cold

  • Neil

    April 24, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Obviously a troll

  • Richie

    April 25, 2020 at 8:53 am

    I read quite a bit about the 1918 pandemic.I think the health professionals were truly freaked when they seen what was happening in China. I have been exposed at my essential job. I believe we should reopen cautiously. My biggest concern was our hospitals being over run. Hats off to those brave people working in the face of this.

    • [email protected]

      April 25, 2020 at 9:09 am

      The hospitals haven’t been overrun, indeed many are virtually empty. There are many videos from around the world showing this. This is a complete hoax. It’s just a prelude to another very dark upcoming period of human history… Wake up!!!

Comments are closed.


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