The Lights May Be Dimming At The City’s Famous Bars & Clubs
Turn out the lights (early).
The party is over (at midnight?)
That’s what the Miami Beach mayor wants to happen as he’s making noise about turning the city’s famous nightlife area into an arts and cultural area.
Dan Gelber, whose father was also a Miami Beach mayor, is proposing a last call at midnight unless bars and clubs apply for and are granted a special permit and turning Ocean Drive into a pedestrian-only street. He also proposes establishing an oversight committee to regulate places that serve alcohol and attracting art exhibits and cultural businesses at the expense of nightclubs.
Currently. bars and clubs can sell alcohol until as late as 5 a.m. This is part of what makes it such a dynamic nightlife destination for clubbers, celebrities and athletes. The scene on Ocean Drive is one of constant activity at night, expensive cars cruising up and down it while people eat outside at restaurants and party on patios and inside the mega-clubs.
Calling it a “beachfront Bourbon Street,” Gelber seeks to fine owner of properties, particularly those where bars and clubs are in business. “Right now, some building owners don’t even know what is going on right under their noses,” he said.
There are more than 100 places that sell alcohol in what is known as Miami Beach’s Entertainment District, which was established in the 80s at the height of the “Miami Vice,” TV show, the Miami Hurricanes football team and the establishment of the area as one of the world’s top clubbing destinations.
“Within years, it became one of the world’s great destinations and it was safe and accessible to visitors and residents alike,” Gelber said. “But it became a victim of its own success.
“Over the last few decades it has grown to resemble a beachfront Bourbon Street with all-night hard drinking and too mush misbehavior where too man people go to do what they would never do in their own hometown. Most of our city’s serious crime occurs in this district and the victims and perpetrators tend to be visitors.”
So he’s blaming those coming into Miami Beach and not those who live in the area and seeking to punish the pubs and clubs as a result.
Gelber has also been frustrated that during the COVID-pandemic, people have been partying in groups at promoter parties in the clubs and on boats and yachts.
So only time will tell if he is successful in his quest. He’s facing a lot of opposition from the pubs and clubs that have made Miami Beach such as solid nightlife destination.