Orlando leaders to vote on special permit that could change how bars, clubs operate

The City of Orlando Commissioners will be voting on an ordinance that could change the way downtown bars and clubs operate.

On Monday, the Orlando City Council will be meeting for the final reading of the Alcohol Sales After Midnight permit which, would require any club or bar that sells alcohol from midnight to 2 a.m. to obtain the permit, have metal detectors, ID scanners, and additional police officers which would all be at the cost of the business owners.

"The business owners are really worried about their livelihoods, about how their businesses will be impacted by this permit and ordinance," said Monica McCown with the Orlando Hospitality Alliance. "For those people that are having to pay for the extra duty, it is still a very big expense for them. These are small businesses, so it will be hard for those businesses to adapt to 100s of thousands of dollars of extra expenses."

This permit came forward by the city as a way to curb violence downtown. City Commissioner Regina Hill said the city has been working with business owners while also making people who live, work and play in the City Beautiful feel safe.

"Some of my residents here in the downtown core will know that we also have heard their voices, their voices are just as important as the business owners to where they feel safe to go outside and feel proud to call downtown home," said Hill. 

Also on the table Monday, the city will be voting on a moratorium that blocks new bars and clubs from opening downtown for the next six months. If approved, it would go into effect right away. If the Alcohol After Midnight Sales Permit is approved, that would go into effect on May 1.