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7 Fort Lauderdale bars, restaurants fined, shut down for breaking coronavirus rules

1 restaurant with repeat violations fined $15,000

Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all bars closed after coronavirus numbers spiked.
Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered all bars closed after coronavirus numbers spiked. (WPLG)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After a sweep of Las Olas Boulevard and other areas of Fort Lauderdale that lasted until 2 a.m., 7 establishments were fined and shutdown for not following coronavirus guidelines Friday night. On Saturday, the City of Fort Lauderdale’s Community Enhancement and Compliance Division were back out conducting what they said were “unscheduled compliance checks” of businesses.

“We will be looking also to ensure that no one is past 50 percent maximum occupancy in the building,” Porshia Williams, Fort Lauderdale Code Compliance manager, said. Other compliant issues that, if not followed, could mean a fine and shutdown were: patrons not congregating at bars, tables at least six feet apart, signage with COVID guidelines was displayed, and businesses operating were approved for Phase 1 of the city’s reopening.

On Friday, 7 businesses were found in violation, 6 were shut down. All but one of the businesses were given a $250 fine. Piazza Italia was fined $15,000 because of repeat violations. According to code compliance, the restaurant had already be given warnings for violating social distancing rules. On Friday, code officers found people dining at high top tables pushed up against the bar. Piazza Italia was able to reopen Saturday.

In violation

Friday

Piazza Italia, 904 E. Las Olas Blvd., $15,000 fine, shutdown. Repeat violations.

Café Del Mar, 101 S. Fort Lauderdale Beach, Boulevard, $250 fine and shut down. Not wearing facial coverings, no social distancing, no signs posted.

Lucky’s Tavern, 214 SW 3rd Ave., $250 fine, shut down, operating as a bar. Bar establishment not allowed to open during Phase 1.

Noodles Panini, 821 E. Las Olas Blvd., $250 fine, not shutdown, using bar area, allowing customers to drink at bar.

Original Fat Cats, 320 SW 2nd St., $250 fine and shut down. Large crowd, no social distancing, no signage.

Poorhouse, 110 S.W. 3rd Ave., $250 fine, shut down. Large crowd, no social distancing, no signage.

Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar, 740 E. Las Olas Blvd., $250 fine, shut down, operating as a bar. Bar establishment not allowed open during Phase 1.

In compliance

American Social, 721 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Big City Tavern, 609 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Café Europa, 910 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Casa Sensei, 1200 E. Las Olas Blvd.

El Camino, 817 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Louie Bossi’s Ristorante Bar Pizzeria, 1032 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Hollywood Brewing, 1103 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Macabi Havana Lounge, 1219 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Red Door Asian Bistro & Hibachi, 625 E. Las Olas Blvd.

YOLO, 333 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Kaluz, 3300 E. Commercial Blvd.

At YOLO on Las Olas Boulevard, while it appeared that the crowd was large Friday night, the city found that they were in compliance, practicing social distancing, enforcing masks and within their capacity limits.

Tim Patrillo, of Yolo Restaurant, said it is always a challenge to make sure everyone is wearing a face mask and social distancing because there are so many people coming in and going out.

“I feel like guests are starting to be a lot more responsible as well,” Patrillo said.

The same went for Big City Tavern. "No one was congregated at the bar. (We) didn't spot anything that was out of compliance," Williams said.

While the compliance division was still working late into the evening Saturday, Local 10 learned that Spazio Restaurant, 239 S. Ft. Lauderdale Beach Blvd., and Casablanca Cafe, 3049 Alhambra St., had been cited for violations.

The Code Enforcement team said they would be cracking down on businesses until 2 a.m. Saturday.


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