Miami Beach last call showdown up for another vote

Commissioners to decide whether to appeal judge’s ruling from last week

Commissioners must decide whether to appeal a judge's ruling earlier this month that said the alcohol rollback was unlawful.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach commissioners are set to meet Tuesday to decide whether to appeal a judge’s decision from last week that deemed their move to an earlier last call for alcohol unlawful.

David Wallack, CEO of the iconic Mango’s Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive, is an outspoken critic of the temporary 2 a.m. last call imposed by Miami Beach city officials.

“Mango’s is missing out on $75,000 to $100,000 of gross income on a weekly basis,” Wallack told Local 10 News on Monday. “Here we are being vilified.”

Another Ocean Drive staple, the Clevelander, took its fight to court and got a big win. After a four-hour hearing via Zoom on June 7, a judge ruled that the alcohol rollback was unlawful because it wasn’t implemented properly and denied the Clevelander due process.

The measure applies to a few dozen bars in an area of the entertainment district that includes Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue.

Mayor Dan Gelber and some city commissioners said the earlier last call is one step to curb the crime that put South Beach in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

On Tuesday, city commissioners will meet to decide whether they will appeal the judge’s decision.

Gelber made it clear that he wants to appeal.

“I don’t think our residents should be held prisoner to a business model that has been frankly only one that creates and foments disorder and chaos,” he said last week.

Some Ocean Drive business owners say lawlessness and dangerous behavior in the area happen regardless of how late they stay open, and Wallack specifically blames social media.

“Once we acknowledge the source of the problem, then we can first begin to deal with correcting what’s not right,” he said.

Tuesday’s commission meeting is set for 6 p.m.

About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.