South Beach business owners fed up with violence, but say liquor curfew unfair

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Business owners on Miami Beach say they are fed up with the violence and chaos following two fatal shootings on South Beach over the past weekend.

Commissioners want to curb it all by imposing a curfew on liquor stores, but liquor store owners feel unfairly targeted, saying it won’t do anything to stem violence.

David Wallack owns Mango’s Tropical Cafe in the heart of Ocean Drive and is speaking out following the shootings.

“It was full-on danger,” Wallack said.

Wallack has been on South Beach for more than 30 years and says this year, particularly the third week of spring break, was the worst ever.

He’s even thinking of partially shutting his business down during next year’s spring break.

“If the city does not come out with some positive and hopeful initiatives to stop this madness, then I will close Mango’s for the second and third weekends of March,” Wallack said.

Miami Beach city commissioners decided in an emergency meeting Monday night against a city-wide curfew for this weekend, and instead, they voted in favor of a curfew for liquor stores south of 23rd Street, requiring them to close at 6 p.m. from this Thursday to Sunday.

This has upset Jorge Zubigaray, the owner of Gulf Liquors.

“I don’t have an issue shutting down, but when I see it’s only the liquor stores getting shut down and the bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open and continue with the chaos, that’s what I’m against,” he said.

Zubigaray said he’ll be filing a lawsuit against the city on Wednesday.

In the meantime, police said there have been more than 300 arrests made over the past few weeks. It’s unclear if they are all spring break-related.

About the Author:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.