90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Three Popular Downtown Orlando Bars Have Lost Their Alcohol Licenses

Photo: Adam Jaime


The bars lost their alcohol licenses after patrons were found to be in violation of social distancing protocols. 

Mathers, Shots and Joysticks have had their alcohol licenses suspended by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

According to the emergency order, patrons at the popular downtown Orlando bars were standing up while they were being served, shoulder to shoulder. 

Stetson University Law professor Lou Virelli says these bar owners and others who have been shut down since June are entitled to sue, but the likelihood of success is really low. 

“The legislature is empowered to make these decisions and as long as they’re not doing it on the basis of a handful of what we call suspect criteria like race or religion or national origin then they have a lot of latitude to make those decisions for us. And our best recourse is to complain to our legislature and try to persuade them that they’re making the wrong decision.”

Virelli says these actions, including keeping restaurants open while bars are shut, are within the purview of the legislature during an emergency. 

“But in order to be unconstitutional they would have to be irrational and irrational is far worse than wrong. Irrational means that no reasonable person could ever agree with your decision. For the legislature to say that bars are more dangerous than restaurants at least would have some sort of rational explanation like the way that people interact with each other in bars is different than the way they interact with each other in restaurants.”

Bars and pubs have not been allowed to serve alcohol in the state since June 26, based on an order from DBPR Secretary Halsey Beshears.

If you’d like to listen to this story, click on the clips above.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

GET THE LATEST
Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »

TOP