MIAMI (CBSMiami) – City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez continues to blast the decision of County Mayor Carlos Gimenez to scale back restaurants to outdoor dining. He says not enough information was shared with the league of cities.
“I don’t support the decision the way that it was done and I don’t support it because it lacked the fundamental evidence. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t support it if the evidence was there but I don’t support it in the way that it happened,” Suarez said.
More than 20 mayors voted on a resolution condemning the order. A joint statement reads in part:
“City mayors are requesting future decisions be made on scientific evidence and data. Additionally, the resolution states that moving forward city mayors and industry leaders should be consulted as part of the decision making process.”
Ani Meinhold, the owner and general manager of Phuc Yea in Miami, agreed with Mayor Suarez on not enough data or information was given. She’ll be leading a group of protestors Friday afternoon downtown with workers from the industry who say they want better communication as to why they have to scale back.
“So to have to hatch up a plan on Monday at 11 o’clock in the morning that involves 25 employees, that involves suppliers, that involves all kinds of third-party vendors and then you’re own livelihood. And then at 10:30 have it be changed is at best challenging and at worst insulting and disrespectful,” said Meinhold.
Other restaurant managers we spoke to like Nico Julia from Blvd Baes says his busiest days have seen only if a third of their normal business.
“I mean it’s definitely slowed down a lot. People are scared. A lot of my regulars don’t come out anymore,” Julia said.
“We’re being punished for other restaurants that have failed the guidelines and so, in that case, it’s anger but it’s a little bit of understanding you know… because we want people to be safe, but we also want people to come out and enjoy our food.”
That downtown protest is scheduled to begin between 11 a.m. and noon on Friday.
On Thursday afternoon, about two dozen demonstrators gathered in front of the Clarke Center Thursday in downtown Miami to protest Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s recent rollback of restrictions related to the rapid rise in COVID 19 cases.
“There are people hurting sleeping in shopping centers,“ said one demonstrator.
They are upset about the latest coronavirus restrictions affecting restaurants.
County eateries are still recovering from the original shut down and are now forced to close their indoor dining areas, again.
Outdoor dining is permitted until 10 p.m. along with takeout and delivery.
Kyu Restaurant owner Michael Lewis, who runs a once packed restaurant in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood is trying to hang on.
“My first emotion was anger, second is fear,” said Lewis.
He’s bought fans, tables, and lights outdoors.
“A lot of my good friends aren’t gonna make it and it hurts,” he adds.
County Mayor Carlos Gimenez reversed a decision on shuttering gyms. They can stay open as long as a mas is worn at all times.
In Broward, the rollback is not as severe. Beginning Friday, indoor dining is still allowed with no more than six customers per table. Closing time has also been moved up to 10 p.m.
Vacation rentals will also be affected. No more than 10 people will be allowed per rental and they all have to be registered to be there.
Mayor Holness said, “We know these rentals are being used as party places and the virus is being spread.”