Bar owners happy about approval to reopen on Friday

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced that Phase 2 of reopening the state's economy will begin on Friday, allowing bars, movies, and other businesses to welcome back guests.

ICEBAR CEO Thomas Kerr says he’s ready to reopen his business off of International Drive.

"I’m excited for our employees. I’m excited for our potential guests to have a chance to have a great experience," he said.

His bar and others have been closed since mid-March.

"It’s been stressful. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t very stressful. We’ve easily lost over $700,000 during this shutdown."

The governor gave the go-ahead for bars and other businesses to open on Friday.

"People can go have a drink, it’s fine, but we don’t want huge crowds people piling in," DeSantis said.

Under Phase 2, bars may operate at 50 percent capacity. Movies and restaurants will also open at 50 percent And retail will open at full capacity.

Thomas explained, "Phase 2 requires everybody to be served at a table, so there will be no one sitting at the actual bar location."

Jeff Borysiewic,z of Corona Cigar Compan, said even though they’re allowed to reopen, there are new concerns with protests and curfews.

"As soon as things settle down, we’re looking forward to people having a cigar, having a cocktail, and let's get back to some normalcy here."

They realize even when they reopen, it may take time for customers to come back.

"It could take till the end of the year to get back to any business levels that resemble the same time prior year," Thomas added.

The ICEBAR has installed UV germicidal lights in the air system to kill germs. They also have plenty of hand sanitizer for everyone.