Windermere grilled-cheese restaurant says ‘we are over this,’ plans to reopen dining room – Orlando Weekly

Restaurant News

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  • Image via Google Maps

As Florida continues to struggle with rising coronavirus cases and the business closures due to the pandemic, one Windermere restaurant said in a Facebook post that they plan to reopen their dining room on Friday, May 1.
“33 & Melt will be reopening for dine in guests May 1,” wrote the restaurant. “Not sure about you, but we are over this.”

Orange County’s Mandatory Safer at Home Order ended April 9, when Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order went into effect. That order closed restaurant dining rooms until April 30. It also limits gatherings to no more than 10 persons, and requires restaurants to limit customer entry to 50 percent of their capacity.

“Seating must be staggered and limited to ensure seated parties are separated by a distance of at least six feet, in accordance with CDC guidelines,” says the order.

Public health officials are worried that growing pressure to reopen businesses will reverse efforts to slow the disease’s spread, and may even lead to a second wave. Last weekend, beaches reopened in Jacksonville and St. Augustine, while others never completely closed.

Currently there are 27,127 active COVID-19 cases in Florida, with 867 deaths. Windermere is located in Orange County, which has had 1,235 cases and 27 deaths (as of Tuesday). That could explain the negative reactions by customers and others to the post.

“I used to like going there with my family,” wrote Carrie Smith. “Not sure what the owner is thinking right now but just have to believe that she is having a temporary lapse in judgment due to severe stress.”

Others noted that the restaurant’s menu could be recreated more safely at home.

“If anyone requires a recipe for the elusive and complicated grilled cheese, I’m happy to share mine,” wrote Steven Tarca.

“Is this a joke?” asked Leisa Brown. “There’s an executive order (separate from the stay at home order) that ends May 8th. If you open before that, you are not only irresponsible and disrespectful, but also breaking the law. You lost us as return customers and I hope you reconsider your decision and rude comments if you want to remain a part of this community.”

It’s not a joke, apparently. We reached out to 33 & Melt and will update this post when they respond.

On a Facebook share about this post, reader Manuel Lombard added this image below, a parody of the Gadsen “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. Maybe we’ll see this flag at one of this week’s “Operation: Reopen Florida” protests.

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  • Image via Manuel Lombard/Facebook

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