Downtown Orlando bars close, adjust hours after governor orders statewide closures

Governor issues ban to help combat spread of coronavirus

ORLANDO, Fla. – For many bar-goers, their St. Patrick’s Day festivities in downtown Orlando were canceled after Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all bars and nightclubs to shutter their doors due to the coronavirus.

He made his announcement from Tallahassee Tuesday morning as he addressed the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Florida, his announcement serving as a last-minute warning to revelers and bar owners.

"It’s just a good time for all the businesses and all the people," said Keith Ingerson. "They planned on block parties and all sort of fun stuff, and look around it’s a ghost town."

Bar-goers say they will try and make the most of something many people saw coming.

“Everything’s been closing down so I wasn’t surprised, but mad at the same time because it’s St. Patrick’s Day,” said Jackie Bates.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer also issued an executive order Tuesday, banning alcohol sales at bars and restaurants throughout the city but later said the city would follow the state-wide executive order.

[MORE: Central Florida breweries adapt after Florida bars ordered to close amid coronavirus pandemic | Interactive map shows Florida coronavirus cases in real time]

Dyer’s executive order differed from the governor’s restrictions, which ordered all bars and clubs to close for 30 days statewide though some may be able to sell food.

“I’m asking our residents to continue to practice social distancing to take it seriously, to stay home as much as you can,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said in a news conference.

Bar owners say they will be affected big time.

Many told News 6 they agree with the mayor’s decision to keep residents safe, but they’re focusing on how f to pay many employees over these next few weeks under these new restrictions.

“We will lose a large volume of sales," bar owner Doug Jones said. “It’s a large magnitude of loss."

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

About the Author: