Orlando bar, brewery owners meet with state to discuss reopening plans

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) met with bar and brewery owners in Orange, Seminole and Brevard Counties throughout the weekend. 

The meetings were closed to the media, but FOX 35 Orlando spoke with owners following meetings.

They say there was a good discussion on how bars and breweries can reopen in the future, including limiting hours, limiting the number of people inside and social distancing. 

Broken Strings Brewery in Orlando has been surviving on to-go orders since being shut down for a second time in June. 

"The past few months have been up and down," the owner of Broken String Brewery Charles Frizzell said. 

Frizzell was one of the bar and brewery owners to meet with the DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears.

He said the conversation was focused on how they can reopen safely. 

"They have a list of things they're looking at implementing to help get us back open," Frizzell said. 

Frizzell said the state is considering classifying breweries under their own structure, instead of being under the same umbrella as bars. 

"Yes, we are part of the greater bar industry, but we are very separate and distinct in what we do," Frizzell said. 

RockPit Brewing was able to open back up thanks to a food license.

The brewery attended the meeting to show they have been able to reopen safely. 

"If we all work together on this to really implement some good policies inside of our businesses we can all open pretty quickly," said co-founder and brewer of RockPit Brewing Jeremy Pittman. "Really do a good job at making sure we're doing social distancing, we're counting people coming in and just making sure we're keeping people away from each other. That's the main thing, and I think he sees that." 

State officials suggest bar owners would reopen at 25 percent capacity and would close by 10 p.m. 

"I think bars can safely reopen if they adhere to guidelines and if they don't allow too many people crammed in at one time. Keep people really social distancing," Pittman said.

Pittman said Beshears seemed receptive and is hopeful breweries and bars that are still closed can reopen safely. 

"He was advocating for us. I think he'll go back and put a really good judgment on how breweries are and how they operate, and how we can get back open really quick," Pittman said.