Orlando bar says customers need to follow social distancing rules or leave amid rise in COVID-19 cases

The owner of an Orlando bar and restaurant says he is playing it safe when it comes to COVID-19 and keeping his customers and staff safe.

Hammered Lamb Bar and Restaurant owner Jason Lambert said that he’s seen a difference in people walking in and not complying with social distancing rules.

He told FOX 35 Orlando that "people are getting really aggressive. We can’t have you standing at the bar but if you come sit at a table we can take care of you. Some people don’t want to follow the guidelines."

That caused him to post this message around his business and on social media, telling customers that “if you put any of my staff in harm's way or treat them with anything other than respect, you will be asked to leave immediately."

Jason said that he had no other choice after seeing bad behavior first hand, even including "name-calling my employees. I had a customer grab me by the arm."

MORE NEWS: Coronavirus: 16 people test positive after night out at Florida bar

He even asked customers to social distance and wear a mask if you’re heading to the restroom or going back outside, stating that "if you can’t follow those rules then, unfortunately, you have to go someplace else."

With all this, he said that tension is in the air and "it’s been a roller coaster ride up and down. We were able to open and then curfew went into effect, so we had to cut hours. And then we opened again and the riot curfew went into effect. So, it’s been an up and down struggle of emotions." 

Some customers like Charles Abbantantuno are relieved though that Jason is taking a stance on social distancing, telling FOX 35 Orlando that "it makes me feel much better to know that everyone in here is taking it much seriously."

MORE NEWS: Florida sees second-highest daily increase with more than 2,600 new cases

Jason said that he is doing his best to stay afloat, citing that "if we had to shut down, there’s a possibility we won’t be able to reopen."

Even at 50 percent capacity, he said he’s still making a decent living though and wants to keep it that way.


Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.