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Back in business: Jacksonville Beach bars, restaurants reopen after COVID-19 concerns earlier this week

Several restaurants and bars in the beaches area closed down this week after concerns about positive COVID-19 tests. Many have since reopened.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — There’s no shortage of bars and restaurants to choose from in Jacksonville Beach this weekend. It is a noticeable change of pace from earlier this week.

“If we are going to keep our businesses open, we need to be responsible,” said Bobby Handmaker, the owner of Cruisers Grill, which was closed for a couple of days for what Handmaker says was out of an abundance of caution.

His 50 employees were tested for COVID-19 while he cleaned the restaurant from top to bottom. He says all of his employees tested negative.

“I would say moving forward, all of us at Cruisers Grill is going to be tested on a regular basis,” he told First Coast News.

 Deep cleanings also happened at places where employees did test positive.

 Angie’s Subs was closed Tuesday and Wednesday. They’ve now reopened.

 But, Lynch’s Irish Pub was closed Friday. Seven employees tested positive.

Next door at V Pizza, Director of Operations David Villmow began taking precautions in March and has been using a vaporizing solution each week to disinfect his six Florida locations.

“On top of that, all of our safety precautions have been in place since this thing started with face masks and handwashing and wearing masks,” he said.

Villmow says he can’t control what other businesses do, but he’s making sure if his employees don’t feel well, they are staying home.

We saw very few people wearing masks while walking in Jacksonville Beach, but Villmow says his employees will follow the CDC guidelines in an effort to protect themselves and their customers.

“The best thing I can do right now is to follow the guidance from the task force and what our government gives us now and follow the mandates the best I can.”

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