Tensions rise over Miami Beach mayor’s proposal to ban Ocean Drive alcohol sales after 2 a.m.

Miami /
Jul.July 13, 2016 06:00 PM

Miami Beach commissioners on Wednesday waded into a contentious debate about whether to ban most alcohol sales on Ocean Drive from 5th to 15th Street after 2 a.m.

Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine said he will propose an ordinance that will restrict alcohol sales on the iconic street at the September city commission meeting, but an initial discussion of the proposed ordinance on Wednesday generated little support for the measure.

The ordinance would not affect indoor bars and nightclubs  largely those located inside hotels, but it would effectively shut down large nightclubs and restaurants like Mango’s Tropical Café, Wet Willies and the Clevelander after 2 a.m.

At a packed commission chambers, workers from bars and restaurants that would be affected by the measure voiced loud opposition to the proposal and most commissioners expressed doubts that it would have any effect on escalating crime and disorderly conduct that residents and many business owners say has spiraled out of control in recent years.  

Police say they have carried out 330 arrests on Ocean Drive over the last five months and 116 arrests in the last two weeks, but that crime is down about 20 percent over the past year. Police Chief Daniel Oates says there are currently eight officers assigned to an Ocean Drive squad and he asked commissioners for more support to boost police presence on the street.

David Wallack, the owner of Mango’s Tropical Café, who is strongly opposed to the Mayor’s proposal, told The Real Deal that more police are needed. “I’m not going to say we have no police. We have a great police force. But it’s sporadic as to the coverage out there,” Wallack said. “When you have thousands and thousands out enjoying themselves, how can you not have police?”

City officials say banning alcohol sales after 2 a.m. on the street would result in the loss of about $19 million in revenue to bars and restaurants affected by the proposed ordinance and the loss of about $400,000 in resort taxes to the city, something Mayor Levine said Miami Beach could absorb. The mayor cautioned that doing nothing could result in the situation getting worse.

“My deep concern is that this is becoming the model of decay of our city,” said Levine, who added that other cities like Fort Lauderdale and New York have taken similar measures that have benefited residents and tourists alike.  “It’s not the intent of this ordinance to kill the party, but to make the party softer,” he said.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
HFZ’s Ziel Feldman with the Shore Club (Getty, Facebook via Shore Club)
HFZ Capital off the hook for $6M in failed Shore Club South Beach deal
HFZ Capital off the hook for $6M in failed Shore Club South Beach deal
Chris Lorenzen and Richard W. Gray III with Apogee at 800 South Pointe Drive in Miami Beach (LinkedIn, DJR Enterprises, Apogee Condo South Beach)
Securities trading CEO buys Apogee condo in South Beach for $12M
Securities trading CEO buys Apogee condo in South Beach for $12M
Palazzo Del Sol (7000 Fisher Island Drive, Fisher Island) (Google Maps)
$19M Fisher Island PH leads weekly condo sales
$19M Fisher Island PH leads weekly condo sales
The Clevelander South Beach (Getty)
Clevelander wins lawsuit against Miami Beach over alcohol rollback
Clevelander wins lawsuit against Miami Beach over alcohol rollback
Steven, Lauren and Zach Witkoff with the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach (Getty, Witkoff, Ritz Carlton)
Witkoffs buy condos at Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach
Witkoffs buy condos at Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach
Vlad Doronin and renderings of Robert Pera’s 23 Star Island home. (Getty, Choeff Levy Fischman)
Vlad Doronin picks fight with Memphis Grizzlies owner over design of future Star Island mansion
Vlad Doronin picks fight with Memphis Grizzlies owner over design of future Star Island mansion
Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union with 5980 North Bay Road. (Getty, Brett Harris Homes)
Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union sell waterfront Miami Beach estate for $22M
Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union sell waterfront Miami Beach estate for $22M
Graziano Sbroggio with 3427 Meridian Avenue (Linkedin, Google Maps)
Pizza oven included: Graspa Group restaurateur sells waterfront Miami Beach home
Pizza oven included: Graspa Group restaurateur sells waterfront Miami Beach home
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...