Florida bar shut down after photos surface showing packed crowds, few masks

Florida bar shut down after photos surface showing packed crowds, few masks

A Florida bar temporarily shut its doors almost immediately after reopening, following reports that a large, packed crowd gathered within the establishment the same night it reopened.

A photo that allegedly shows the scene from inside of the business drew controversy not just for the size of the crowd, but for the the fact that almost nobody appears to be wearing masks.

Authorities temporarily shut down The Wharf Fort Lauderdale on Saturday after the bar reopened on Friday, the Sun-Sentinel rapporti. Officials took action after a large crowd of maskless customers gathered at the bar, igniting fears of a possible superspreader event.

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“If they’re not making patrons wear masks, they’re leaving us no option other than to shut them down,” said Broward Mayor Steve Geller in a statement to the news outlet. “Our goal is not to shut down businesses. It’s to get compliance. If we have to shut down businesses that are intentionally violating our laws, maybe that will send a message. They have to obey our orders for the safety of the public.”

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Su Twitter, the bar confirmed that it would be shutting down for a time, but did not immediately acknowledge the reason for its abrupt closure.

“Thanks to all our fans for your support! Sfortunatamente, due to the statewide spike in cases and local regulations, we will be temporarily shutting down,” reads the tweet. “We’ll reopen when we’re able to provide the proper experience for you at our beautiful outdoor venue. Stay Safe & Rimanete sintonizzati!"

Photos of the crowd circulated on social media, where they drew harsh criticism. Uno Facebook user summed up his concern in a caption reading, “College Kids home for Thanksgiving at The Wharf in Ft Lauderdale last night. Thursday they will be seeing Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa for Thanksgiving.”

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According to the Sun-Sentinel, the bar planned to remain closed until it can “get clear guidance and understanding as to how we are supposed to operate.”

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