Business owners and workers protest at 2 a.m. Last call in Miami Beach – NBC 6 South Florida
On Wednesday, Miami Beach-style, dozens of people packed Mango’s Tropical Cafe to protest – in the form of a celebration – against the last call for alcohol canceled at 2 a.m.
The city passed the 2 a.m. cancellation earlier this year to slow crime, but shut down the app this summer after a judge ruled.
“I don’t think this will be an effective way to solve the problem,” said Elizabeth Martinez, a Miami Beach homeowner.
Voters will make their voices heard on the issue in a referendum in November.
Some say it won’t reduce crime, but think it will reduce business.
“Basically it showed it didn’t work,” said Alex Ruiz, manager of Mango’s Tropical Cafe. “The only people who were affected were the people who worked. You mean performers, artists, waitresses.”
Other Miami Beach business owners, like Mitch Novick, disagree.
“Chaos and chaos every day throughout the evening,” said Novick, who also shared a video of the police outside his business on Sunday evening.
Novick says this is the reality of late night liquor sales and thinks the flashback is overdue.
“I hope the city’s voters are not once again duped by big budget entertainment interests,” he said.
The last call at 2 a.m. is the first step in Mayor Dan Gelber’s 12-point plan to reduce crime.
“Miami beach, especially in this area which is sort of a party district, has become unsustainable,” said Gelber. “An incredible amount of disorder, and sadly crime, comes from this region.”
Gelber says if voters are in favor of the rollback, he thinks the commissioners would follow suit by passing ordinances to make it a reality. He is running for re-election next month.