MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami Beach residents voted Tuesday night in favor of the ban of alcohol sales after 2 a.m., hoping to cut back on the crime and chaos in the city’s entertainment district.
Mitch Novack, a beach resident and business owner, said the mayhem needs to stop.
“They need to shut the party down,” said Novack. “Finally the city will take hold of this situation, bring back public safety.”
Just this weekend, Novack provided a video of a brutal beat down, steps from the hotel he owns, near Ninth Street and Collins Avenue.
The victim, Luis Carlos Herrera, spoke from his hospital bed.
“They were homophobics,” said Herrera, “and I remember I told them to stop bothering me and teasing me. Then a person came over to me and kicked me in the face, and after that I don’t remember anything.”
David Wallack, owner of Mango’s in South Beach, said stopping alcohol sales after 2 a.m. will hurt businesses.
“It’s not about the money that I would be losing,” said Wallack. “It’s the money that my staff will be losing. Those are families that work very, very hard, and for them to make a whole lot less at a certain point they have to say that even if they worked here for 20 years, they would have to look at me and say, ‘I’m so, so sorry, but I have to go to work where I can earn a living.'”
Miami Beach’s Mayor Dan Gelber, who was just re-elected, said this new alcohol ban will be the first step towards changing the stigma of this section of the beach, but disagrees with those who say this new roll back will cause them to lose tons of cash.
“Most places in our city are 2 a.m.,” said Gelber. “There are clearly business models that work for our city where people make a nice profit, people work, employees are paid, and they don’t have to have an all-night, 24-hour party, so that happens. It happens everywhere, and it even happens here, so this is just a business model tethered to a couple bars that have created a lot of disorder in an area that needs to be calmed down, that needs to have a change of how it feels, and that’s going to happen.”
The vote is non-binding, which means it will go to the city commission for a final decision.
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