TAMPA, Fla. — Florida's top regulator, Halsey Beshears, is set to start meeting with owners of bars and breweries across the state this week for guidance on reopening again.

Bars were shutdown abruptly during Florida's reopening on June 26 after a spike in Coronavirus cases among young adults.

What You Need To Know

  • State regulator to meet with bar owners this week 

  • Tampa bat owner Paul Medrano optmistic meeting leads to bars reopening

  • Still, state has not released any plans on bar reopenings

Since then, the number of daily cases of Coronavirus has increased, and bar owners say with bars being shutdown for more than a month, it's clear the increase in cases today is not a result of them.

"Quite frankly the spikes aren't relative to the bars," said bar owner Paul Medrano. "You can't blame the bars for the numbers today because we are closed."

Medrano is part owner of two bars in Tampa, one of them the Red Star Rock Bar in Seminole Heights.

Bar owners like Medrano argue it was unfair the state shut them down last month, but they are looking forward to talking with the state to figure out a way to re-open for good.

"Almost every bar is ready to go," he said. "We've been sitting on our backsides for the last four out of five months.  When we were down initially I know we did, and I know a lot of other bars did, everything they were doing compliance-wise to get Covid ready and that cost money.  So we'd like to get some quick response so we can get some of that money back."

On June 26, when bars and breweries were ordered to stop serving alcohol on premises, the state reported 8,942 new cases of Coronavirus.

On July 28, the state reported 9,230 new cases, a higher number even with bars closed for more than a month.

The state has not released any plans or a date bars may reopen, but bar owners said the talks with the state starting this week are a step in the right direction.

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