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Miami Beach will appeal court ruling, continue to fight for 2 a.m. last call

The Miami Beach city commission decided Tuesday to appeal a judge’s ruling that deemed a 2 a.m. cut-off of alcohol sales unlawful.
The Miami Beach city commission decided Tuesday to appeal a judge’s ruling that deemed a 2 a.m. cut-off of alcohol sales unlawful.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The Miami Beach city commission decided Tuesday night whether to appeal a judge’s ruling that deemed a 2 a.m. cut-off of alcohol sales unlawful.

Just before 8 p.m., the commission said it would move forward with the appeal.

“The city is rejecting the Clevelander’s settlement proposal and intends to immediately appeal the Court’s order, once it is entered,” acting Miami Beach City Attorney Rafael Paz said in a statement.

Last week, the Clevelander, a staple on Ocean Drive, got a big win in court with that ruling. In May, the commission voted in favor of the 2 a.m. last call, by a 4-3 margin.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said Tuesday he is in favor of appealing.

“I hope that our city attorney and the commission supports appealing the judge’s ruling,” he said. “Frankly, we cannot allow a part of our city to be controlled by somebody else’s business model, namely all night drinking.”

Tuesday’s commission meeting began at 6 p.m.

David Wallack of Mango’s, another iconic spot on Ocean Drive, said businesses like his are being unfairly blamed for crime and unruly behavior on South Beach.

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

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

“Having 40 all-night bars keeps other businesses from coming here, because who would want to live next to an all-night bar or place where you can be as loud as you want to be,” Gelber said.


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.