Local Bars Get Bill Signed Into Law by Governor Rick Scott
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 961 into law, a bill that allows bars to receive free glassware from the beer industry, on March 30, 2018. The bill, which was first filed in the 2017 session by Senator Rob Bradley (R-Orange Park) and Representative Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota), was championed by local Tallahassee bars and restaurants throughout the 2018 Legislative Session.
HB 961 creates an exemption to Florida’s tied-house evil” statutes, which prohibit monetary value being exchanged between manufacturer and retailer. Florida currently has exceptions to tied-house for pool table lights, neon signs, posters and glassware.
Bars and restaurants were supportive of the bill, with the Tallahassee Bar & Hospitality Association leading a petition drive of bar owners that resulted in 650 signatures from over 200 cities across Florida in support of the measure.
“This bill helps keep overhead low and is good for business,” said Max Herrle, President of the Tallahassee Bar & Hospitality Association, a trade group that represents thirty bars and restaurants in Tallahassee. “Bar owners all across the state are sick of shelling out $2.50 for a glass only to have it broken or stolen that night. We’ve fixed that with this bill.”
“Glassware is a significant cost driver to my small business, especially when taking breakage and theft into account,” Mike Ferrara, owner of Cabos Island Grill and Bar in Tallahassee said last year of the glassware bill.
“We’re very happy about the bill, which saves us money and allows us to reinvest in our staff and business,” said Bob Arbuthnot, operator of Wineloft Tallahassee.
The bill was supported by over twenty Tallahassee bars and restaurants including:
· Bob Arbuthnot of Wineloft
· Dave Ericks of Clyde’s and Costello’s
· Scott Carswell of the Moon
· Tarek Habib of Primetime
· Shannon Moore of Fifth & Thomas
· Jim Smith of Poor Pauls
· Mike Ferraro of Cabos Island Bar & Grill
· Sheri Carpenter of Hobbit American Grill