Governor's new order means local businesses' challenges remain thru mid-April, at least

Joe Lipovich, Lilo's LWB.jpg
Joe Lipovich, owner of Lilo's bar and restaurant in downtown Lake Worth Beach, has made creative changes to his menu, to attract takeout diners. (WPEC)

To keep the South Florida coronavirus hotspot counties all on the same page, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday issued a new so-called "Safer at Home" order, effective at least through mid-April.

The governor's order makes it easier for law enforcement to crack down on violating businesses, and people out for non-essential activities. Officers can actually go in to a business now, and shut it down.

The upshot for businesses is the current tough climate for the bottom line remains at least a couple more weeks.

Restaurants are considered essential and are allowed to remain open for takeout and delivery.

At Lilo’s, a popular bar and restaurant in downtown Lake Worth Beach, owner Joe Lipovich has a new drive-up curbside lane and surprising offerings on his adapted online menu.

“So you can go online and get a dinner, a meal, some toilet paper,” said Lipovich.

That’s right, toilet paper. Lipovich is offering household items, produce and meat in bulk, in addition to new budget dinners.

“One-stop shop here,” proclaimed Lipovich.

Even so, he's has had to lay off all his part-timers, and the governor's new order means conditions will not likely improve through the middle of the coming month, maybe longer.

“We’re tracking right now 15 to 18 percent (of what we normally do)," said Lipovich. "Understandably people are cooking at home. Hopefully, it picks up here, as we’re committed to it. We’ll be here.”

Down the street, at Brick Oven Pizza, Martin Lyczkowski is the one fighting to keep things going.

"It's only me, a chef and one driver," said Lyczkowski.

Delivery and take out were already a significant part of his business, but with no inside dining, Lyczkowski says receipts are at least mid-summer-like.

Can he keep his business intact like this through mid-April, possibly longer?

“I do it a day at a time, see what’s going to show," said Lyczkowski. "I’m not buying a lot of food. I’m just going to the store every day."