Pub in Central Florida has license suspended over COVID-19 drink ban

The George and Dragon English Pub in Cocoa is the latest bar to have its alcohol license pulled by the state.

FOX 35 talked with the owners.

“I guess they didn’t recognize us as a cigar bar or whatever the reasoning behind it and they came in and suspended our license and shut us down,” co-owner David Lemon said.

The bar is accused of continuing to sell alcohol after the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued an emergency order at the end of June that prevented bars from selling alcohol to be consumed on-premises.

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In its report, the DBPR said it went to the bar twice last week to warn the owners before suspending the license.

The owners said when they reopened during phase two, they followed all the rules set by the state. They admit to still selling alcohol after the DBPR’s emergency order because they feel it contradicts phase two reopening rules.

“[It] singled us out of phase two, allowing gyms and other businesses to stay open,” David Lemon said. “So, we felt that it was unfair and we continued to stay open.”

The bar plans to sue the DBPR.

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“I want all the bar owners in Florida to get ahold of us,” co-owner Michael Saunders said. “Even through Facebook. We need to unite. We’re doing a lawsuit today and if you want to join us, we want you guys.”

The business opened about a year ago but has been closed for months because of COVID-19, which has put a financial strain on the owners.

“I just think following those rules and staying safe is more important than just shutting down and cutting everybody and reducing the economy,” co-owner Richard Lemon said.

The bar owners say they do not know when they will get their alcohol license back.


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