Miami city commissioners decided to end alcohol sales in downtown Coconut Grove two hours earlier after a 3-2 vote last Thursday morning.
The new 3 a.m. cutoff will specifically affect CocoWalk, Commodore Plaza and the Streets of Mayfair. The change will be implemented June 30.
Besides Grove residents complaining of late-night violence and noise, Miami City Commissioner Mark Sarnoff said he thinks the change will also improve quality of life.
“You have people driving out at 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning, passing the school teachers, the nurses [and] the folks that get up early in the morning to go to work,” Sarnoff said in an interview with UMTV. “They are sharing the road with heavily intoxicated people.”
The city is not planning to compensate clubs or bars for any lost revenue that is usually made during the later hours.
“We have invited them to give us their bar tabs from three to five o’clock,” Sarnoff said. “They have come in and said ‘this time is 10 percent of our business,’ then they upped it to 20, then to 30. So we said, ‘instead of telling us, show us.’ So far, no one has stepped up to the plate.”
Sarnoff also noted that this change was not meant to turn college students away from Coconut Grove, and he noted that here are many other venues in Miami open later.
“It’s up to the college students if they think they need to be out until 5 o’clock,” Sarnoff said. “The city of Miami has an entertainment district on 8th street, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th streets that services them 24 hours a day. They are more than welcome to go there and consume until eight in the morning if they like.”
Joanna Suarez and Irma Murillo contributed to this story.
Karyn Meshbane may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.