MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Two businesses were ordered to shut down and another fined along Las Olas in Downtown Fort Lauderdale on Friday.
“All of a sudden we can’t even have a cocktail outside. I’m not even near anybody. This is really getting out of hand,” one bar patron said. “I was enjoying my evening sitting outside with some fresh air.”
This was after Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar on Las Olas Boulevard was ordered to close.
“They’re actually being shutdown. They’re a bar,” Code Compliance Manager Porshia Williams said.“Once they’re shut down, they will not be allowed to reopen.”
Fort Lauderdale’s code compliance team and Mayor Dean Trantalis spent Friday cracking down on businesses during a weekly spot check.
“We all mean business. Not just the city. But everybody who lives here is entitled to a safe space,” the mayor said.
They even closed Piazza Italia again. The restaurant is a repeat offender and was given a $15,000 fine. The harshest finds. It was most recently closed last weekend. Friday, city officials say they found tables at the bar.
American Social was one of the places ordered to close last weekend. But no issues during a check-in Friday.
“We don’t have to go in here fully. I think our action is going to be across the street,” Williams said.
American Social is right across the street from Tommy Bahama.
City officials visited YOLO restaurant and gave them the green light to stay open. The owner says it’s easier to enforce the rules now.
“A lot of people don’t want to wear masks. We are doing our best to make sure we enforce our rules,” Owner Time Petrillo said. “Masks have been elevated. So, awareness for everybody has been a lot easier now than it was last weekend.”
Code compliance officers say it will follow up on its maximum occupancy.
This is the first time cameras are following officials. But they’ve been visiting places once a week since the middle of March.
City leaders gave us pictures of places along Las Olas and on the beach where there were problems. Some of the issues were as recent as last weekend.
Since March, there have been nearly 40 places warned or told to close until problems are corrected. Code enforcement officers say they will be back around and checking in on places, especially those that were told to shut down.
“If we find that they’re open again, definitely a $500 fine,” Williams said about Tommy Bahama.
The city says Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar is facing a $250 fine as well, since it’s their first time.
Another restaurant, Noodles Panini, was given a $250 fine for having people at the bar.