MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) — City of Miami Beach commissioners met Wednesday and one of the items on the table was liquor sale limits on Ocean Drive – known for its party.
Commissioners reportedly will not take action Wednesday but instead revisit the item in September to allow residents who are out of town to voice their opinions.
The ‘Ocean Drive Initiative’ was proposed by city Mayor Philip Levine who says he doesn’t want to stop the party – just move it.
The proposal is meant to curb crime in the strip which Levine says is now plagued with prostitution, drug dealing and muggings among other things.
The proposal – Levine says – takes aim at the root of the problem by limiting liquor sales after 2 a.m. along the Ocean Drive strip and only at bars that are not part of a hotel. That’s about four or five places including the world-famous Mango’s.
Jason Wallack and his dad own Mango’s. They’ve been there for years and are baffled and blindsided by the mayor’s plan to make them shut down at 2 a.m.
“This has a cataclysmic ripple effect, a house of cards you might say,” said Jason. “I think this type of move is very dangerous to do. Especially with Miami Beach’s brand as a nightlife destination around the world. People are coming from Europe, from everywhere else to enjoy our wonderful night life.”
The mayor agrees there is damage to the Miami Beach brand but for a different reason.
“The city is jeopardizing its entire brand based on the actions of what’s happening on Ocean Drive for four or five bars. I think it’s a bad business proposition,” said Levine.
Again the mayor reiterated it’s not stopping the party, just moving it.
“I think we need to close these freestanding bars and clubs there,” said Levine. “If people want to continue on, go to Washington Ave, go to a big night club that’s open until 5 a.m.,” said Levine.