Reopening bars not a near-term priority for Ron DeSantis
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 6/29/20-Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks after signing the $92.2 billion 2020-21 budget Monday during a news conference at the Capitol in Tallahassee. DeSantis vetoed more than $1 billion from the spending plan sent to him by the legislature. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Gov. Ron DeSantis won't commit to allowing bars to reopen anytime soon, he said on Wednesday. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis won’t commit to allowing bars to reopen anytime soon, he said on Wednesday.

The Governor, addressing reporters after a mental health roundtable in Altamonte Springs, said he supported the decision of Division of Business and Professional Regulation head Halsey Beshears to talk to pub owners.

But reopening is not happening yet, DeSantis said, essentially maintaining the same position he’s had for weeks.

“I think everyone deserves a seat at the table,” the Governor said regarding Beshears’ trips around to state to meet with frustrated bar owners demonetized by the government’s decision to close their industry for most of the last five months.

“We’re not making any changes at this minute,” DeSantis added.

Beshears was “having to play whack-a-mole” with bars in cities around the state before a statewide re-closure of them in June, including an Orlando bar catering to University of Central Florida students, the Governor said.

The Governor mused then about whether bar closures are even effective.

“You have to also be realistic about this and say that if this pub isn’t closed, does that mean this behavior isn’t going on? Because people go and they meet and they congregate.”

“I’m not so naive to think that ‘ok, that’s no longer an option, so they’re just going to sit there and decide not to do any socializing.’ That’s not the way the world works,” DeSantis said.

“A lot of the same socializing was going on, it was just in a private venue,” the Governor continued. “They close this like some panacea and people go on and do other things.”

The Governor, in previous appearances, compared some of the worst offender bars to “just like mayhem, like Dance Party USA, and it’s packed to the rafters,” justifying the order to close bars that don’t have seated restaurant capacity.

DeSantis noted that the three South Florida counties still in Phase 1 reopening have not had bars open, yet have had the most persistent outbreaks, only quelling recently. The Governor noted that he is more likely to move them into Phase 2 before allowing bars to reopen.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


  • melly

    August 20, 2020 at 12:33 am

    This awful excuse for a human being is literally stealing peoples livelihoods away from them and he won’t face them, only drops these stupid non-justifications to some reporters and then crawls back into his hole. He is a coward and a thief. I hope Florida’s bar owners open en masse and dare him and his pathetic State to arrest them.

  • Jeff

    August 20, 2020 at 6:57 am

    What about pvt. Clubs we can not hold the license needed to open due to being a 501c charity such as vet organizations Elks Eagle moose vow Dav and so on he is bankrupting us due to piss poor management

  • Michael Barnett

    August 20, 2020 at 7:02 am

    I guess rampant unemployment, homelessness, depression, and suicide are more DeSantis’s cup of tea.

  • Joe Mansfield

    August 20, 2020 at 9:18 am

    As I have said before!!! Veteran Service Organizations Do things for Veterans and the community!!!!! You insistently say we need to be CLOSED!! Bull Shit GOV!!! I thought you were a VET? One of the reasons I voted for you? Thought you might have an interest in Veteran affaires??? Many of us(VETERANS) have faced more dangerous situations than the China Flu!!
    Yes! We sell beer and Food to make money to help our Vets and Community!!! Quit being an Ass! Open the VSO’s

  • Anna Goodwin

    August 20, 2020 at 10:39 am

    This is bullshit, I can’t go to the small pub across the street that was never over 30% capacity but i can go 2 blocks over to the packed one and have a burger with my beer while doing karaoke and be safe, hello people are packing into the ones that serve food not for their food! While you let the other ones go bankrupt. I WAS an avid supporter, no more. The young people are still gathering and partying, all you have done with this order is take away safe places for us older folks.

  • Kenneth Richmond

    August 20, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Mr. DeSantis why are you and the DBPR allowing the after hours clubs to be packed to the rafters? Are they not controlled by the SAME DBPR AS BARS,PUBS,AND NIGHT CLUBS?
    And why is the department of revenue charging these same closed businesses a covid 19 tax? Or are you acting like a RINO?

  • Heinrich

    August 21, 2020 at 2:45 am

    Waaaa waaa waa I can’t go to a bar and drink beer waaa waa aaaa grow up and find a new hobby besides sitting at a bar drinking your life away.

  • Teresa

    August 21, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Gov. Ron DeSantis- this is total BS…& nothing but Discrimination against bar owners!!you have schools open, bar/restaurants that are no different than just a little hole in the wall where we all go to chill & yes socialize…and its also causing bar owners to close their doors & lose e/thing they worked for-in which it is illegal to force a business out of business. Opening the bars is not going to cause any more of an out break than the theme parks, schools, grocery stores. You go ahead & sleep good nite your pockets are lined & you have no worries!! But I am calling you a coward!!

  • Maria

    August 22, 2020 at 5:05 am

    People are just going to do house parties if they can’t go to bars so all this does is hurt the business owners and employees…

    And Heinrich, just because YOU don’t go to bars doesn’t give you the right to be on a high horse and belittle people who do…I don’t golf but I don’t demand golf courses shut down or act like I am better than golfers.

  • Daniel

    August 22, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Desantis is a waste of time. He said before the harsgot closed down that he wasn’t going backwards. We are only going forward. He weaseled his way out of it and left it up to someone else to take the blame Just doesn’t make sense. Put the children back in school Keep the bars that serve food open because you can’t get covid if you eat. Come on. Being a non essential worker sucks. Pay me dammit or put me back to work. 144 dollars doesn’t hardly feed me. I want to work. Keep your damn charity.

  • Amy

    August 23, 2020 at 6:32 am

    Makes no sense. Now these bars are getti g food licenses to open. It is cheap to get one and fairly easy. It cost mire for the state to inspect the facility and do the paperwork for yhan what it cost for the license so the state loses money. And the bars still get to be open. The bars aren’t the issue. Numbers continue to climb for covid cases with them closed. He’s a moron.

  • Buddys tavern

    August 26, 2020 at 8:25 pm

    You need to reopen bars these people are trying to stay afloat and they are not going to make it. It is a shame you have no remorse for these people I dont know how you sleep at night. I am a bar owner and my staff is out of work they need there jobs back to feed there families. We do alot of benefits for people in need for the community we are a family bar we care about people. Obviously you dont.

Comments are closed.


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