The Ball and Chain was unable to open as expected on Wednesday, May 27 due to an amendment made to the original reopening order
In preparation for the May 27 reopening, Ball and Chain Restaurant owner Bill Fuller had spent money to restock food products and bring his staff back in for the business opening. He was prepared to open his business at less than 50 percent capacity to be extra cautious, in addition to requiring masks and limiting the number of people per party.
However, Fuller and his team were disappointed to find out from the Fire Department on Wednesday morning that just 24 hours prior to the scheduled reopening date, the City of Miami had amended their original order.
The amendment excludes “bars, taverns, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, and breweries” from reopening their dining rooms. It adds that alcohol service establishments can only continue to serve customers through delivery or take out.
Restaurants in Miami were set to reopen their dining rooms after weeks of closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this reopening, restaurants would have to follow new protocols and guidelines to promote public health and safety. Some of these guidelines include having a self-dispensing hand sanitizer machine, limiting capacity to 50 percent, and creating floor markings that adhere to the social distancing guidelines of remaining six feet apart.
Ball and Chain operates under a tavern license, which means they were under the group of establishments that were prohibited from opening their dining rooms that day. This proved disappointing for Fuller and his staff, who were putting up plexiglass around the establishment’s central bar to prevent customers from sitting at the bar.
“It’s sad. It is sad for my employees. It is sad for Calle Ocho. It is sad for the state of affairs for the City of Miami,” said Fuller.
Calle Ocho businesses have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and their inability to operate under regular business circumstances. This includes Ball and Chain, which has lost business and revenue due to the pandemic and was hoping to open up in coherence with the neighboring restaurants on the strip.
Fuller wonders why the City of Miami decided to wait until 24 hours before reopening day to make this amendment.
“They need to provide a reason as to why this is being done to small businesses so that I can give an honest answer to my employees.”Bill Fuller
“I really call on the City of Miami to get their house in order. There is no excuse to provide special, more restrictive provisions without a justifiable excuse — or reason.”Bill Fuller