The local delegation of state representatives on Monday unanimously approved support for a bill that would create a liquor license exemption for restaurants in a specifically designated downtown area.
The bill, which will be sponsored by state representative Mike Miller, will be placed on the agenda for a vote by the full Florida House of Representatives.
If enacted, the bill would allow restaurants in the downtown district with 80 seats and at least 1,800 square feet to serve full liquor. Currently, restaurants must have the capacity to serve at least 150 customers at one time and occupy a space of at least 2,500 square feet to be able to serve full liquor, or purchase a license for approximately $300,000.
The city of Orlando sought the exemption to encourage independent restaurateurs and boutique eateries to open in downtown Orlando.
More details on the bill and a map of the proposed downtown dining district at this link.