Broward business owners making adjustments following new countywide order

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – At Cabo Blanco, a Peruvian restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard, manager Erika Sutton said she was relieved indoor dining wasn’t coming to and end once again in Broward county. 

Hand sanitizer and spaced-out tables had become the norm there.

“We’re really grateful, because it’s been a rollercoaster,” she said.

Mark Rowe, owner of Mickey Byrne’s Irish Pub, said his employees have been tested weekly for COVID-19 and were happy to have their jobs back.

Not knowing whether their jobs were safe has been stressful, Rowe said.

“It’s hard to keep morale up when everybody’s living in limbo,” he said.

The modified order on businesses calls for no more than six people at a table when dining at restaurants, and dine-in service must end at 10 p.m. each night, Mayor Dale Holness announced Wednesday evening.

The order, signed by County Administrator Bertha Henry and going into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, also sets up stiffer penalties for businesses that break the coronavirus safety measures. The first violation calls for a 24-hour closure, but subsequent infractions will come with a 72-hour shutdown.

“If we don’t all take responsibility to reduce the spread of this virus, the economy will continue to be stagnant or be worse,” the mayor said.

Rowe said a 10 p.m. closing time on weekends would hurt a little. 

“Especially in South Florida, people like to come out a little bit later to eat. But, look, it could have been a lot worse,” he said. “It’s different times, but you know what, we get through it together.”

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