MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Ocean Drive restaurants and some elsewhere are in trouble after Miami Beach is making efforts to clean up a rowdy entertainment district.
“Repeat violators, repeat offenders. It kills me. It’s embarrassing,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
In a matter of days, they won’t be permitted to operate the sidewalk cafe portion of their business.
Some restaurants in violation are accused of being shady.
“Scam! Stay away from this place,” said one of dozens of Yelp reviews about one penalized Ocean Drive spot. Another reviewer referred to it as a “nightmare from hell experience.”
“We do not expect our restaurants to scam people who are eating there,” said Gelber. “We don’t expect them to when people are walking by, try to grab them and sit them in their seats. We expect a certain level of conduct.”
In a letter Tuesday to commissioners, Miami Beach’s city manager wrote, “The city identified 13 sidewalk café operators whose sidewalk café permits were denied for the fy 21/22. Two (2) sidewalk café operators are located on Espanola Way, two (2) sidewalk café operators are located on Lincoln Road, and nine (9) sidewalk café operators are located on Ocean Drive.”
“The restaurants have lost their café tables who are not following these rules,” said Gelber.
Rule-breaking restaurants have helped bring a Bourbon Street vibe to the area, said the mayor.
“Awesomely huge drinks that really do nothing but get everybody liquored up and then we end up with the misconduct we’ve been watching,” said Gelber.
The city passed an ordinance in 2019, doing away with tacky, misleading sidewalk cafe signs. They also established a code of conduct.
More than two years later, those accused of violating that code are about to face consequences.
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