Less than half of downtown Orlando bars have new permits so far

New permits required in order to serve alcohol after midnight

ORLANDO, Fla. – A little less than half of the bars and businesses that have applied for a new permit to serve alcohol after midnight have been issued one, as of Friday afternoon.

And with the new rules going into effect on Monday, the clock is ticking.

“The team is busy working today, as well as Monday, to make sure that those who have submitted and have all the appropriate documentation, can ensure that if possible, they can have their permit in that time,” said David Barilla, the acting executive director of the Downtown Development Board and Community Redevelopment Agency.

Barilla said so far 60 bars or establishments had applied for the permit allowing them to serve alcohol after midnight and until 2 a.m., but only 28 had been approved.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider | Here’s why the weather has been so active in Florida | DeSantis-Disney battle continues]

In addition to needing the permit, establishments also have to meet a number of safety requirements, including:

  • Added law enforcement protection
  • Scanning all patrons entering after 10 p.m.
  • Wanding, if the occupancy is more than 50 people
  • ID scanners
  • Keeping count of everyone inside after 10 p.m.

News 6 spoke with Monica McCown, the vice president of the Orlando Hospitality Alliance, who represents bars and businesses in the downtown area.

“I think it’s really unfortunate that we’re sticking to such a harsh deadline when it’s really created just arbitrarily because it’s just one day,” McCown said. “It’s not that next week is going to be more dangerous or less dangerous than the week before when none of these permits have been issued yet.”

She said some of the delays in getting a permit application completed come from businesses needing to pull records and information that could be years old.

And added, if they aren’t approved in time for the big weekend with Cinco de Mayo, it could have a big impact on the businesses.

“It’s not only detrimental, it’s devastating to these businesses for them to not be able to be open after midnight next weekend for Cinco de Mayo and it’s truly all week long. Many of these businesses have invested thousands and thousands of dollars, just to get ready for this weekend,” said McCown.

Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:

About the Authors:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.