Battle of the bars: Tampa City Council considers revoking booze permits amid lawsuits

Tampa’s City Council met Monday determine if a handful of bars located across the city’s entertainment district should lose special use permits to serve alcohol on premises as a consequence for COVID-19 ordinance violations.

The council reviewed the actions of two Ybor City bars, the Purple Heart Lounge and 7th and Grove, at the meeting, hearing from code inspectors and the owners. Both bars walked away Monday with their permits intact — for now.

The Purple Heart Lounge, which went before the Council after being cited by city inspectors twice (Dec. 18 and again Jan. 8) for not complying with the mask mandate, was left in limbo after council members split in a 3-3 vote on whether the establishment was in violation of Tampa’s public health and sanitation codes.

With Council member Luis Viera absent, council members decided to delay any decision until March 4 so that Viera could provide a tie-breaking vote.

As for 7th and Grove, the council determined that the establishment had broken several orders, including Mayor Jane Castor’s executive order mandating masks and ensuing county orders on dining. However, the council decided not to suspend the bar’s alcohol permit after hearing from owners about improved security and

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