’79 days is a long time:’ Bars, bowling alleys able to open as Phase 2 begins

Orlando bars reopen, but have to close early due to curfew

ORLANDO, Fla. – After 79 days, the owner of Casey’s on Central said he is finally able to reopen his bar as part of Florida’s Phase 2 reopening plan.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announcing Phase two on Wednesday allowing bars and pubs to reopen at 50% capacity. Phase two also allows for the reopening of entertainment venues like movie theaters and bowling centers.

"79 days is a long time," said Jeff Ekas, owner of Casey's on Central. "There is a lot of people that are ready to get out and get back to work."

Before reopening before noon Friday, masked employees at Casey’s got their temperature checked.

Ekas also walked around with measuring tape to make sure the tables were six feet apart. Phase two allows bars to be at 50% capacity on the inside and 100% capacity on the outside. During happy hour on Friday, the bouncer clicked how many people came in and out.

"We are treating this weekend almost like a soft opening," Ekas said. "Learn a lot to see how things are going, see if there is anything that needs to change."

Across the county, at Boardwalk Bowl, couple Fernie Velez and Lindsey Marshall went out to bowl on a Friday afternoon. One of the first times they have left the house to do something fun.

"We are kind of dipping our toes in, seeing how everything is," Marshall said.

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