MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A judge’s ruling has stopped the alcohol ban previously placed on Miami Beach’s entertainment district.
The city recently informed bar and restaurant owners that they could no longer serve alcohol until 5 a.m., but instead had to stop at 2 a.m.
The Clevelander sued the city after the law went into effect on May 22.
This week, a judge ruled in favor of the Clevelander saying during the lawsuit, the city cannot limit the hours for serving alcohol.
However, the controversy over last call is far from over.
“We’re appealing the judge’s orders, so I want to first see what the courts say,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
A judge ruled late Tuesday the city was in the wrong to move up last call from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.
“We’re going to keep fighting this because it’s a public safety issue,” Gelber said.
Last month, the city council voted for the change hoping it would create a safer environment.
The Clevelander quickly sued, and starting immediately, last call has been pushed back to 5 a.m.
“We think it’s a very reasonable decision. There’s a court ruling that has said that the rollback as to the Clevelander is not proper,” said attorney Kendall Coffey, who represents the iconic venue.
But for business owners, the back and forth is exhausting.
“I’m tired of being at war with the City of Miami Beach,” said David Wallack, who owns Mangos Tropical Cafe.
He said businesses have made several changes over the years to comply with new rules and regulations out of City Hall.
Now he thinks it’s the city that needs to step up to the plate.
“If you don’t have enough police and you have thousands of visitors, there is an imbalance,” Wallack said.
The mayor said he wants voters to weigh in and plans to have the issue on the ballot this November.
As for those enjoying Ocean Drive…
“This is the city that doesn’t sleep, so hey, drink all night, all morning,” said tourist Chase Ceoso.
There may be a clear divide between those visiting and those who call South Beach home.
“It’s out of control. So as a resident, I wish they would put that back into effect,” said resident Terry Walsh.
Businesses don’t know how long the 5 a.m. last call will last, so they plan to take advantage of every single moment.
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