The Clevelander sues after Miami Beach moves last call to 2 a.m.
Image via ABC News.

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Last week, the City Commission agreed to shift last call from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.

A prominent Miami Beach hotel has filed a lawsuit against the city after local officials decided to move up last call from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The Clevelander sued Miami Beach Monday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, aiming to put a halt to the change. The Miami Beach Commission agreed 4-3 to the shift last week.

That shift isn’t set in stone. During the city’s November 2021 municipal elections, voters will get to weigh in on a ballot measure deciding whether to keep the 2 a.m. last call time or return to the 5 a.m. cutoff.

In the new lawsuit, the Clevelander is asking the court to institute a permanent injunction and allow for more than $30,000 in declaratory relief.

“The city has declared war on South Beach’s famed Entertainment District,” Clevelander representatives said.

The hotel, which features a popular bar in the Miami Beach entertainment district, argues its permit allows alcohol to be served until 5 a.m. City officials have rejected the legal argument that those permits mean the last call is set in stone.

Officials who voted in favor of the change cited recent turmoil during Spring Break, which prompted the city to institute an 8 p.m. curfew and shut down travel to the city’s entertainment district. That was in part because of violence and arrests but also came as the region was seeing another uptick in COVID-19 cases just before the wide availability of vaccines for all adults.

Bars and entertainment venues have been eager to get back to business as usual as COVID-19 cases have dropped, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention has relaxed its mask recommendations. Shaving three hours off alcohol sales could stunt business for some venues, but city officials argue the change is justified.

“This area has been a magnet for much of the disorder that has degraded our quality of life,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.

“It seems absurd that a city cannot place reasonable limits on liquor sales especially considering most places don’t even serve alcohol after 2 a.m.”

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]



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