Biergarten Is Owned By Restaurateur Responsible For Several Boca Raton Eateries.
Is City Looking The Other Way?
BY: ANDREW COLTON | EDITOR AND PUBLISHER
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BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Despite surging COVID-19 infections and deaths, The City of Boca Raton is apparently disinterested in mask violations at a bar that’s part of a popular restaurant group employing many in the area.
We published these somewhat astonishing photos taken at Biergarten (309 Via De Palmas) over the weekend, showing blatant COVID-19 violations with large groups of people neither socially distancing nor wearing masks. Even a bartender, as you see below, is using her mask to cover her neck but not her face.
Biergarten, according to the Florida Secretary of State, is owned by Arturo Gismondi, the owner of Cannoli Kitchen, La Nouvelle Maison, Luff’s Fish House, Trattoria Romana, and other local establishments. Gismondi did not immediately respond to a message left Tuesday. No one responded to an email message transmitted to Biergarten on Monday. The restaurant’s voicemail box was full.
City of Boca Raton Spokesperson Chrissy Gibson wouldn’t answer questions about what the City is specifically going to do following the photos being published — other than to say she’d pass on information to code enforcement.
She wrote, “I would suggest (anyone concerned) use the City’s ‘report a concern feature,” referencing a link on a city website.
The City of Boca Raton has come under scrutiny for its continued lack of COVID-19 enforcement measures. While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis currently prohibits individuals from being fined, the City has taken what appears to be a Laissez Faire approach to fining businesses, something it’s allowed to do. Boca Raton City Code Enforcement tends to arrive hours or days after a violation is reported. We reported on an incident back in September where the City of Boca Raton code enforcement team took no action following a maskless event that required police intervention.
The incident at Biergarten comes as COVID-19 numbers are surging locally and statewide. Florida has reported well over 100,000 COVID-19 cases in the past several days with hundreds of deaths. In Palm Beach County, roughly 5,000 new COVID-19 cases have been recorded over the past week as the death count hit 1,972.
If you have photos to share, please use the form below. If you are reading this in a news app, use this link to access our reporting center. The Palm Beach County COVID Education and Compliance Team can be telephoned at 561-24-COVID.
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