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Baja's Beachclub gets alcohol license suspended by Florida DBPR after opening as nightclub

Posted at 8:56 AM, Jul 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 11:47:50-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Baja's Beachclub in Tallahassee will no longer be able to serve drinks to patrons after video of crowds at the bar began circulating social media.

Halsey Beshears, the secretary of the Department of Business & Professional Regulation, posted on Twitter that the nightclub's operators, Next Door Entertainment / Zaioud, Zein, had their alcohol license suspended Tuesday night.

Beshears wrote that the establishment's license was suspended after they violated the state-issued mandate and operated as a nightclub.

The announcement comes after video showing crowds packed inside the club over the weekend made its rounds on Twitter.

According to the order of suspension issued by DBPR, the suspension was issued after the nightclub violated the state mandate on Saturday, June 27.

That day, the DBPR said the club stayed open to the public despite the order and allowed approximately 700 people to drink alcohol in and around its premises. Officials say Baja's also allowed patrons to bring their own alcohol inside the club.

The suspension order contends that the nightclub wasn't supposed to be open anyway, under previous executive orders. Because of the operator's disregard of the orders, the DBPR said that "nothing short of outright suspension of the license is sufficient" to protect the public.

"The Suspended Licensee's continued operation poses an immediate serious danger to the public health, safety, or welfare due to the dangers associated with COVID-19," the suspension order reads.

The suspension was issued on June 30 and went into effect immediately.

The order will remain in effect until further proceedings seeking formal discipline can be instituted.

Gov. DeSantis and the DBPR mandated that all bars stop serving alcohol for on-premise consumption last week.