Miami Beach

Letter: Miami Beach’s 2 a.m. alcohol ban only affects sales, consumption on city property

I am here to tell you that the world is not ending ....

To clarify recent amendments to Miami Beach's alcohol and sidewalk cafe rules, there is now simply no sale or consumption of alcohol on PUBLIC property after 2 a.m. That is it. Just the few feet of tables on either side of the sidewalk. This change does not affect any business on private property, including outdoor/open-air operations anywhere in the city such as Clevelander, Mangos, Finnegans and most of News Cafe to name a few. Again, this is about late-night alcohol on city property. There seems to be a misconception as to how our recent move affects certain businesses and restaurants, or alternatively the city's continuation as an entertainment destination. The product is the same, but our ability to police the streets in the wee hours of the night is improved, making our city safer for both tourists and locals. We talk about Ocean Drive, but this is about Miami Beach as a whole. Sidewalk cafes exist citywide, some within a stone’s throw of residential buildings. The sidewalks belong to the residents and the city, and a permit to commercially operate on them is a privilege and not a right. With the law changed we hope to not only protect the residents, but also allow police to easily identify open container violators after a certain hour. If you are local, think about the last time you went to Ocean Drive. I am sure it has been awhile. There are more improvements coming, some esthetic, some to the pedestrian experience and overall feel. Stay tuned.

Commissioner Michael Grieco, Miami Beach

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