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Tampa Suspends Sale Of Alcohol At Three Local Bars

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Tampa City Council voted on Monday to suspend the sale of alcohol at three local businesses.

MacDinton's Irish Pub in Tampa, Club Skye and Club Prana in Ybor city were found to have violated both city and county Coronavirus restrictions.

City council members voted to suspend the sale of alcohol for seven days at Club Prana, while MacDinton's and Club Skye were given shorter suspensions, with the city attorney arguing that they all violated mask-wearing rules.

Tampa City Attorney, Gina Grimes says, "Most restaurants and bars complied with the requirement. There were a handful of establishments that did not comply."

Tampa City Attorney, Gina Grimes, says Club Prana has received four different citations related to coronavirus restrictions since the new year.

"They ignored educational and encouragement process, they ignored the formal warnings, they ignored the first citation. This establishment ignored the second citation and even ignored the third citation," said Grimes.

Prana's lawyer, Luke Lirot argued at Monday's special meeting that the club has done everything it can to keep people safe, including spending thousands of dollars on cleaning devices and PPE.

"It's impossible to comply with these requirements. If you have a place of public assembly and code enforcement is there and someone instantaneously gets up from their seat for whatever reason they decide and removes their mask to take a drink or talk with a friend, there's just no time for anyone in management to ensure 100% compliance," said Lirot.

After presentations, city council members voted to suspend the sale of alcohol at Club Prana for seven days, and at MacDinton's Irish Pub and Club Skye for three days each, because of mask-wearing violations.

Luis Viera, Tampa City Councilman, says "I think of my brother Juan who is mentally and intellectually disabled and different people like him who have disabilities and pre-existing conditions and are more vulnerable."

Two other businesses discussed on Monday, The Ritz and King Corona Cigars Bar, were not given suspensions because Grimes says their violations were less serious.

Orlando Gudes, Tampa City Councilman says "If a rule is in place, can we follow the rule. And if we can't, let's figure out how we can. If we don't have the resources, then we need to ask, how can we get those resources."

Currently there are no other alcohol suspension hearings scheduled.

Club Prana will be suspended from selling alcohol from April 5 to April 12. MacDinton's will be suspended starting March 18, 2021. Club Skye will be suspended from March 9 to March 12, 2021.

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