Jul 192020
outdoor dining parking lot

When it comes to encouraging people to support local businesses and musicians by dining out and participating in live entertainment, what you say and how you say it can be risky business.  Just last week, we were expecting Broward County to revert back to closing restaurants except for take out and delivery.  Instead, they rolled back on-premise dining to 10pm from the previous Midnight hour. And while businesses breathed a sigh of relief for only having their dining hours cut 2 hours short, code enforcement inspectors have been following up on complaints by visiting local businesses and issuing warnings for any social distancing violations.  These warnings may be stepped up to fines and closures in the weeks ahead as the virus curve needs to be brought under control by our local government doing whatever they can to “stop the spread”.

So what are our local businesses supposed to do?  In my opinion, their job is to make customers feel safe. And I’m not just talking about posting a sign at the door or on their Facebook page stating that they follow all CDC recommendations.  Businesses have to use as much creativity and every resource at their disposal to go above and beyond.  It could be seating people 2 or three tables apart.  It could be encouraging customers to use credit cards instead of cash whenever possible.  It could mean creating a dining area in what used to be a parking lot.  That’s all in addition to the standard wipe downs with disinfectants and ensuring everyone from the cooks to dishwashers and servers are making proper use of their facemasks.

Unfortunately, some businesses have had to make decisions which have been discouraging some customers from showing up, ranging from cover charges to minimum spends on food and beverages in order to see the live music shows.  All this is done on purpose since businesses do not want to exceed the 50% capacity requirements (or be fined or shut down) while at the same time needing to pay their staff and entertainment.  As the title of this blog says, it’s a “fine line” between encouraging and discouraging.  In fact, some friends have asked me why I am not one-sided when it comes to encouraging people to go out and support our local businesses and entertainment.  Unfortunately, that would make me hypocritical since I, too, have cut down greatly on where and how often I venture out.  So, I continue to share news, good and bad, hoping that if everyone does what they must in order to flush out this virus, I can return to my bully pulpit and keep snapping away photos of crowds of people having a good time – hopefully sooner than later.

Meanwhile, enjoy and support those venues and musicians who work hard to keep us fed and entertained day after day – even if it’s via an online concert from time to time.  Here are some links to what’s happening the rest of this week:

New Restrictions for Palm Beach County

On Tuesday, July 14th, Palm Beach County amended their emergency order 2020-014 with several new restrictions including reduced Hours for Alcohol and Food Service. No establishment permitted to serve food or alcohol for on-site consumption, whether indoor or outdoor, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.


New curfew in effect in Broward County beginning July 17, 2020

Effective July 17, 2020 at 11PM and until August 1, 2020, all of Broward County is under a curfew from 11PM to 5AM. Exemptions to the curfew include: active duty police, fire rescue, first responders, news media, delivery or transportation drivers, government employees, persons seeking emergency medical care and medical, health care and utility service personnel. Also exempt are individuals traveling to and from their place of employment, returning to their homes after commercial travel, and persons walking their pets within 250 feet of their residence.