Coral Springs, Fl August 6, 2020: For the most part, restaurants in Coral Springs are following the COVID-19 guidelines and the emergency rules enforcing face masks, social distancing and outdoor dining. Most small food establishments that always relied upon take-out are doing very well. However fine dining restaurants are being killed by the latest curfew rules imposed by Broward County forcing them to close at 10 pm. With limited tables, the ability for any place that depended on indoor dining, to have more than 1 seating time for supper, is essential to keep their business afloat .
In an email to City of Coral Springs Commission and the Broward County Commissioners, Kevin O’Connor , owner of Runyon’s Restaurant located on Sample Road has urged the City of Coral Springs Commissioners to fight the Broward County curfew order for 10 pm and at least get it to 11:30 pm so they can try to break even . Changing the curfew time puts them even with restaurants in Boca Raton whose hours extend to 11 pm. He has pointed out that a lot of customers are heading north instead of coming to them, and they are losing this business. Other restaurants in Coral Springs face the same hardship.
Searching the internet, nowhere can anyone find a reference to 10 pm as being critical in the war against the pandemic. From the Google Search of keyword phrases like “COVID-19 10:00 PM” or COVID19 TIME OF DAY DEPENDENCY” you get nothing. CDC has no guidelines regarding 10 PM as being the time in which COVID-19 is any worse or better. Apparently, all that we are given is that COVID-19 can infect people 24/7. As well, everyone is talking about days and not hours. In fact, people that spend time in close contact with each other with no masks before 10 pm , have an equal chance of getting COVID-19 after 10 pm if they do the same thing. There is no witching hour where all of a sudden COVID-19 virus comes out and gets us.
It takes 2 weeks to get results back from a COVID-19 test so 1 hour here or there is not what one would consider to be critical in this battle.
If we are to use Governor DiSantis philosophy and how to not handle the pandemic, ” If we can force your kids to go to school, then we can extend the curfew to 11 pm or how about “If the airport closes at 12:30 am then we can extend the curfew to 11 pm.” So either way, the Broward County commissioners can remove the curfew on restaurants if they are following the guidelines when it comes to business in the times of COVID-19: Wash your hands regularly, wear a mask , keep social distancing , stay home if you are not feeling well.
“Runyon’s has been a landmark business in Coral Springs for 35 years, family owned & operated. The rules and regulations currently in place such as social distancing, no bar service and 50% capacity has limited our business dramatically. ” stated Kevin O’Connor. ” With those limitations we have not been able to find a path to breakeven and the longer that these regulations are in place it is not likely that we will see the other side of this pandemic.”
In an email reply , Broward County Commissioner Michael Udines supports Runyon’s point of view and stated:
“In my opinion, if a restaurant can follow all guidelines imposed and cdc protocols, there should be little difference as to what the specific hours are. There is no difference from a covid transmission point of view as to what happens at 10 pm or 11 pm. ” .His reply was within minutes of him receiving O’Connor’s email .
“I would be supportive of allowing restaurants that can comply, like Runyons, and others to open later so that they can have a shot to enhance their business.” , he added.
Hopefully O’Connor and Runyon’s can get the support of the other commissioners of Broward County, and count on our own city commissioners to put pressure to get this ridiculous curfew either changed or not applied to Coral Springs.
Runyon’s has been an institution, locally owned restaurant that dates back to the 80’s. If you believe as they do, that the curfew should be extended for restaurants to 11:30 pm , then why not email the city commissioners and let them know that it is important that businesses survive the pandemic.
Here are the email addresses of the Coral Springs City Commission:
Remember, wear your mask, wash your hands, and keep social distance.