Settling City Suit, Grove’s Mr. Moe’s To Stay Open Til 5 a.m.

COCONUT GROVE (CBSMiami) – Late night Coconut Grove carousers will once again have a place to call home.

After nearly four years of closing at 3 a.m., the iconic Mr. Moe’s Restaurant and Bar on Commodore Plaza will return to a 5 a.m. closing time, according to CBS4 News partner The Miami Herald.

Mr. Moe’s owner John El-Masry has been locked in a nasty legal battle with the city since 2008 when the commissioners passed a law stopping alcohol sales after 3 a.m. in the Center Grove. El-Masry retaliated by filing a lawsuit, saying the city should not have revoked his permit.

They agreed. On December 15 commissioners agreed to allow Mr. Moe’s to stay open until 5 a.m. and pay El-Masry $10,000 for his troubles and legal fees. El-Masry says he is out about 100 times that amount in lost business, but he is glad the issue is resolved.

“I’m very grateful that we settled this thing. I didn’t want it to drag on,” El-Masry said. “This was a nasty, knock-down fight with the city. I don’t want to be the disgruntled business owner anymore. I want to move forward in a positive direction.”

Under the settlement with the city, the bar’s extended hours would be null and void if anyone other than El-Masry owns the establishment. Mr. Moe’s is also the only business in the area allowed to sell alcohol until 5 a.m.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)


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