COCOA, Fla. – Four men who own a bar in Cocoa Village said they’re dropping their lawsuit against the state even though they estimate they’ve suffered tens of thousands of dollars in lost business.
As of Monday, when Florida bars were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, the George & Dragon English Tavern has its liquor license and customers started to return.
Co-owner Richard Lemon said it was a great feeling that he knew was coming and his bar was ready.
The owners went to a reopening meeting with state business regulators last month in Indialantic.
Gov. Ron Desantis and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation hosted multiple bar and brewery roundtables statewide.
While the Cocoa Village bar was closed, the owners estimate they lost as much as $80,000.
They called it a major inconvenience and sued the state.
In August, Richard Lemon said even when he’d be allowed to reopen, the bar would not withdraw its lawsuit.
But back in business again, the bar said Monday it’s willing to let it all go.
“We wanted to drop the lawsuit, after all, just because we want to put everything behind us and move forward with business,” Richard Lemon said.
Richard Lemon’s twin brother, David Lemon, showed how the bar increased its spacing between tables.
“We’re literally going out of our way to make room for people being able to maintain their six-foot distancing,” David Lemon said.
The Lemons said reopening is very encouraging and they believe people are ready to go out.
“I think it’s going to make our business stronger,” Richard Lemon said.