Governor gives restaurants some relief on alcoholic beverage sales

The typical license for Florida restaurants doesn’t allow them to sell packaged alcoholic beverages to go, but Gov. Ron DeSantis provided some relief from that on Friday.

With so many restaurants struggling and trying to survive with a delivery and takeout model, DeSantis issued an  order on Friday that allows restaurants previously licensed to sell drinks to diners in house to now sell sealed containers to patrons who are getting food to go or delivered. In essence, he is temporarily suspending a prohibition against restaurants conducting packaged sales.

Retail vendors that were previously licensed to sell sealed containers can continue to do so as well, DeSantis’ order on Friday said. This appears to be a move to provide consistency and clarity in regulations statewide during the outbreak, since some counties and cities have moved towards more restrictive rules. For example, rules issued in Miami-Dade County this week called for closing non-essential businesses, but the list didn’t specifically mention liquor stores as being able to stay open or not.

Here is some of the background: On Tuesday, DeSantis has issued a statewide order telling restaurants to reduce their capacity by half and stop selling alcoholic beverages. On Thursday, he issued an order for Broward and Palm Beach counties that said, “I hereby order restaurants, bars, taverns, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, breweries, cafeterias and any other alcohol and/or food service business establishment with seating for more than ten (10) people with in the incorporate and unincorporated areas of Broward and Palm Beach County to close on-premises service of customers.”

Those measure put a major crimp in restaurants’ business operations.

The changes on Friday are  important to restaurants’ survival because alcoholic beverage sales can be a significant source of revenue and profits.

The law firm of Greenspoon Marder, which has a sizeable alcoholic beverage practice, had sent a letter to the Department Of Business  & Professional Regulation, seeking relief said Louis J. Terminello, who is chairman of the firm’s Hospitality, Alcohol and Leisure Industry Group. The letter warned of the grave economic consequences faced by restaurants and asked for an executive order to provide some relief and continuity in the rules statewide.

Terminello was happy that the governor came through.






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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.