Coronavirus closures hit South Florida restaurants and stores

All restaurant dining rooms and bars will be ordered to close in the city of Miami

Restaurateurs Michael Schwartz, Danny Serfer and Michelle Bernstein (Credit: Twitter, Facebook, iStock)
Restaurateurs Michael Schwartz, Danny Serfer and Michelle Bernstein (Credit: Twitter, Facebook, iStock)

UPDATED, March 17, 10:05 a.m.: Popular Miami restaurants like Mandolin Aegean Bistro and Cafe La Trova are temporarily closing their doors amid the coronavirus crisis. National retailers are announcing closures by the hour. In Miami-Dade County, all bars and clubs must close by 10 p.m., and all restaurants by 11 p.m.

The wave of closures is expected to continue locally and throughout the country as business grinds to a halt amid the threat of coronavirus. Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts International announced they will temporarily close their Las Vegas casinos in an effort to help contain the spread of the virus. Restaurants, bars and schools in New York City are also shutting down.

Following President Trump’s suggestion that gatherings be limited to 10 people or less, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told the Miami Herald on Monday night that restaurant dining rooms and bars will be forced to close, and will only be open for takeout or delivery. It’s a move that other municipalities and counties could follow. Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County are expected to make similar announcements, according to the Herald.

In Miami-Dade County, all bars, clubs, restaurants and movie theaters in the county were ordered to reduce capacity by 50 percent, with a maximum of 250 people at a time. The town of Palm Beach is imposing a curfew, beginning on Tuesday, that will run from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

On Sunday, the mayors of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale announced at a joint press conference that both cities were implementing similar measures to deter spring break crowds. In Miami Beach, Lummus Park and the public beaches from Fifth to 15th streets are closed until further notice. The city is also enacting an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in the entertainment district.

“Our measures are intended to send a clear message that Spring Break is canceled,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.

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Restaurateur Michael Schwartz posted on Instagram that his Genuine Hospitality Group would be temporarily closing all of its restaurants, including Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, Amara at Paraiso, Tigertail + Mary, Harry’s Pizzeria and Genuine Pizza.

Time Out Market in Miami Beach, Sweet Liberty Drinks & Supply, Gramps in Wynwood, The Wharf Miami, Mignonette and Blue Collar, and other restaurants and bars announced their temporary closures on Instagram.

Frohzen, La Cocina, L’atelier de Joël Robuchon, Le Jardinier and the Regent Cocktail Club are all temporarily closing, according to Brustman Carrino Public Relations.

Retailers such as Nike, Apple, J. Crew, Anthropologie, Madewell, Lululemon, Abercrombie & Fitch, Sam Edelman and others are also closing their stores or have already done so. The Gap and Ann Taylor announced some temporary closures.

Calder Casino and the Palm Beach Kennel Club announced both were suspending their gambling operations temporarily, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Businesses excluded from the now-required daily 10 p.m. closure in Miami Beach include restaurants, bars, nightclubs and those businesses located with hotels.