Lakeland food hall adds masks to the menu after city decides not to

The Joinery in Lakeland is where you can join up with friends and family, then pick one of dozen different venues where you can eat or drink.

The owner of each place was polled recently polled on COVID-19. Unanimously, they agreed that from now on, customers will have to wear a mask.

The Joinery says the recent spike in CVOD cases was what made them take action. 

The move comes on the heels of a controversial decision. Lakeland city commissioners just decided not to require people to wear masks inside public places, without even bringing the measure to a vote.

It was a big disappointment for the mayor, who was encouraged by The Joinery’s quick call.

"I am proud of businesses that make a statement that say, ‘We care about life,’” Mayor Bill Mutz said.

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Customers at The Joinery have to wear a mask when they come in, order, walk around, or use the bathroom. But not when sitting down with their group to eat.

If someone refuses, staff will “kindly” ask them to leave.

On the day the new mask ruled kicked in, no one seemed to mind.

“I have auto-immune disease, so it’s important to me to actually go to places and not have to worry so much,” customer Ashley Feider offered.

“I appreciate them trying to look out for people’s health, and I think it’s a smart move,” Connor O’Brien added.