MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Businesses on Miami Beach are trying to charm residents about having a late last call. Right now, last call is around 5 a.m. But Mayor Dan Gelber is trying to have the bottles shelved well before that.
"Inside these establishments, they are controlled. They have cameras, they have security," said Elizabeth Martinez, who was at a party for seniors at popular spot Mango's Tropical Café.
In November's upcoming election, Miami Beach residents will vote on moving last call for alcohol from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.
They're protesting that proposal at Mango's.
The owner of the nightclub is trying to convince beach residents they should be allowed to stay open until 5 a.m.
Many of the senior citizens Mango's invited to the event agree.
"If we close at 2, those people who want to continue to party will they go home or go to the streets. So I don't think it is an effective idea," Martinez said.
Mango's owner David Wallack says they have been operating for the past 30 years. He doesn't believe the recent increase of crime on the streets of the beach is due to clubs being open past 2 a.m.
Wallack argues many of these recent violent crimes have happened before midnight.
"There is no set late night hours where the crime proliferates. Crime happens 24 hours a day and across the country," he said.
Wallack says if they cut their hours to 2 a.m. they will then have to cut jobs or their employees' hours.
"it is a different phenomenon what goes on in the streets. It is two separate events entirely. What goes on in the streets I cannot control. Inside here I control," he said.
Wallack says what the city should do is increase their police presence.
But other business owners, like Mitch Novick who runs the Sherbrooke Hotel, say the streets are chaotic and this would be a step forward.
"It's the carnival circus they create on the streets," Novick said. "I support it now. I was the first to advocate it. It is the first step in the effort to rebrand our city. Crime has skyrocketed and it is entirely due to this problematic zoning."
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