By Dave Warren

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s still business at what has become the new normal at many restaurants in South Florida. There may now be a limited number of customers, which may mean fewer staff. But at least they are working, and it hasn’t always been that way.

“A shutdown, particularly for the hospitality industry, is diabolical,” said Nick Sharp, the owner of Bay 13 Brewery in Coral Gables.

While this night he was busy keeping an eye on his customers and staff, he also has to keep an eye on the increasing COVID case numbers.

“We’re really concerned for a potential shutdown and the impact it has for our staff and for every person,” said Sharp.

Even as case numbers increase, a potential shutdown remains just that, potential. It’s a concern for him because he just recovered from the last one.

“We’re just getting our staff back up and running,” he added.

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Unfortunately, that can’t be said for other states like California, where cities have put a ban on indoor and outdoor dining.

Back here in Florida however, there is one man who is determined to keep restaurants open.

Gov. Ron DeSantis was in West Palm Beach Tuesday afternoon.

“We just want to send a message that some may want to shut you down, we want to pull you back up. We got your back,” said DeSantis from a local steak house.

He was there with the restaurant staff and owners claiming that the majority of transmission occurs in people’s homes and not restaurants.

Restaurants like Bay 13 where they, like most of the industry, work hard to make sure everyone stays distant and safe.

“There’s always a small number of people that aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing but in a large part people are,” said Sharp when asked about single cases that make headlines about customers not distant or wearing masks.

His restaurant however follows the guidelines and that has gotten the industry back to this point. Now he, along with the governor, wants it to stay that way.

“The governor stepping in is great at least from a restaurant point of views. It raises the standard for quick decisions that impact so many thousands of lives,” he said.

Dave Warren