Horse in South Beach nightclub gets spooked, causes panic
A South Beach club that was shut down after someone rode a horse into the place will get to reopen — with some conditions.
An agreement on Monday between the city of Miami Beach and the club, and approved by a special master, gives Mokai Lounge permission to reopen. City Manager Jimmy Morales pulled its license earlier this month after the horse incident was captured on video and posted online.
The video showed a woman in a bikini riding bareback on a white horse through the packed club. The unhappy animal dropped to the ground and threw the woman off as clubgoers screamed.
Before the reopening, a few requirements:
▪ No more animals in the club. Except for service animals.
▪ A $12,150 payment in code violations.
▪ And a $10,000 contribution to a horse farm. Peaceful Ridge Rescue for Horses will be getting the money.
▪ If Mokai ever has a similar violation, the city has the right to shut the club down and permanently revoke its business license.
Mokai, who was represented by hospitality attorney Louis J. Terminello of Greenspoon Marder in the negotiation, will be permitted to reopen Wednesday. Mokai is owned by Roman Jones as part of The Opium Group.
The club, 235 23rd St., got its business license yanked after the city cited animal cruelty laws and a threat to public safety.
On Monday, Morales said in a statement that the 12-day closure was serves “to deter such improper conduct since, as claimed by the Owners, it did have a significant impact upon the club.”
“This agreed order essentially creates a permanent revocation penalty for this business should they ever use an animal in that establishment again,” Morales said. “Combined with the expensive lesson of the fines and revenue losses, we believe this arrangement represents a very strong incentive to comply, which sends a message out to anyone else that would ever try this type of stunt in the future.”
Said Mayor Dan Gelber earlier this month: “What kind of idiot would do something like this to an animal and endanger people’s lives at that club?”
Following the incident, the horse was taken into custody of Miami-Dade police. The department’s animal experts deemed the horse healthy.