The party's over: City shuts down late night events at Upper Eastside American Legion post

The American Legion Post in the Upper Eastside will no longer be rented out for parties or other commercial events, following a meeting Friday morning between the post commander and representatives from various departments of the City of Miami.

The post has been the subject of numerous complaints from nearby residents who say the late night parties and shows put on my promoters at the 6445 Northeast 7th Avenue facility  have disturbed their sleep and become a neighborhood nuisance.

The city informed post commander Robert Holcomb that commercial events put on by outside promoters at the facility were illegal, as according to city code, they were considered to be run by separate businesses who were operating without a license.

Holcomb agreed to cancel any such events that had already been scheduled. 

“We’re going to comply with whatever it is,” he said after the meeting. “ I’m not going to jail anytime soon.”

During the meeting, City of Miami Police Commander Manuel A. Morales was direct in his assignment of how promoters were using the post on weekends.

“They are running a night club,” he said. “They’re charging admission at the door. They have DJs inside. They are running a night club in a residential area.”

The city also informed Holcomb that the Legion post has to ask the commission for the permission and permits necessary to continue to host the popular food truck gathering that had been held there every Thursday night.

Holcomb said he will take the issue up with the commission, but has no way of knowing how long it would take to get a response. 

Morales said he hoped that the Legion would continue to do well.

“It is in my best interest to have the Legion post flourish,” he said during the meeting. “ I don’t want another abandoned building like the Vagabond sitting in my area. I don’t want that. But I want to make sure that we’re doing it the right way.”

Posted at 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 4. Past updates:--

1:33 p.m: 

The meeting between the American Legion post and the city is over. We're working on a full article, but here are the important points: 

-- The American Legion post can no longer rent its facility to outside promoters for parties or other events. The post commander has agreed to comply. 

-- The city also said that the post cannot continue to host the Thursday food truck event. However, the post can ask the commission to grant it permission (and the necessary permits) to restart the event. 

 8:28 a.m: 

In the face of growing complaints from residents about noise from late night events at the American Legion post in the Upper Eastside, representatives from the City of Miami are meeting with the post command this morning to address the issue.

The post, and the bar it houses, Harvey’s By the Bay, has angered many nearby residents who say the parties at the 6445 Northeast 7th Avenue facility at have disturbed their sleep and become a neighborhood nuisance.

On March 4, Bayside Homeowners Association President Louis Bordeau sent an email to city staff, asking them to take action.

Post commander Robert Holcomb has said he has hired additional security to help quiet the crowd in the parking lot following events, but maintains that the Legion has a valid liquor license which permits it to host parties and other events. (Related story: American Legion post commander responds to Bayside HOA complaints)

Holcomb told us that the city asked him to attend a Friday morning meeting at the Miami riverside center when he was trying to get the required permission and permits to re-start the popular food truck event that used to be held at the Legion posts on Thursdays.

“All I know is that we’re going to it and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

The city did not respond to requests for comment.

Susan Pierres, a resident of the nearby Palm Bay Yacht Club, said in an interview that despite the fact that she lives several blocks away on the 20th floor, loud events at the Legion keep her up at night.

She recently wrote the city an email to express her concerns.

“This is a residential neighborhood,” she wrote. “Legion Hall and Harvey's By the Bay have become a local nightmare for residents even a mile away. Please give us back our sleep.” (Read the full email here)



This post was produced by Open Media Miami, an independent company that works in partnership with the Miami Herald to cover neighborhood news along the Biscayne Corridor. Follow us on Facebook, or join our contributor network at OpenMediaMiami.com.