Bar and restaurant gets special liquor license reinstated

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

In 2008, the city of Miami removed a special permit allowing a bar and restaurant to serve liquor until 5:00 a.m., cutting amount of business for them and various establishments in the area. Soon after, the bar decided to challenge the action in court. The bar alleged that customers would go to other restaurants until they closed, then would go over to the bar and restaurant that was open until 5:00 a.m. The owner of the restaurant claimed to have lost over $1 million in sales and had to fire half of his staff because of the slow-down in business when it was forced to adapt earlier closing hours.

The city removed the special permit in 2008, citing late night noise and crime, after passing a law that no restaurants could sell liquor after 3:00 a.m. According to the owner of a restaurant that normally closed by 3:00 a.m., the city’s action reduced his business. The owner of the bar and restaurant filed a lawsuit against the city. Last month, the city finally settled the lawsuit. The bar and restaurant is now allowed to serve liquor to 5:00 a.m.

As part of the settlement, the city had to pay the owner $10,000 for his troubles, which was much less than the $1 million the owner was suing for. The owner reportedly just wanted to settle the lawsuit and keep serving alcohol until 5:00 a.m.

Other restaurant and business owners in the area think it will be difficult to come back from the early closings, but hope that it won’t be long for people to start spending more late nights/early mornings in the area.

Source: Miami Herald, “City settles lawsuit, agrees to let Coconut Grove bar Mr. Moe’s stay open until 5 a.m.,” Julio Menache, Dec. 30, 2011