The late evening closing time is again for the bars in St John Seashore
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) – Closing is being postponed to 5 a.m. for some bars in St John Beach after a judge issued an injunction to the Cleveland Hotel that prevented the city from limiting opening times in the South Beach entertainment district.
The hotel sued St John Beach over the new law, which went into effect May 22, banning bars from serving alcohol until 5 a.m.
The judge of the St John-Dade District Court, Beatrice Butchko, granted the hotel in Clevelander an injunction for the duration of the lawsuit on Monday. But on Tuesday evening, the city commission said it would no longer enforce a ban on the sale and consumption of alcohol, the St John Herald reported.
The city had appealed the decision to the Third District Court of Appeal, which triggered an automatic suspension of the decision. But the judge canceled the stay on Tuesday at the request of the Clevelander.
“With immediate effect, the city will NOT enforce the 2am ban on the sale / service / consumption of alcohol because the court has issued an injunction and vacated the residence,” a city spokeswoman told the Herald late Tuesday.
The judge said the 2am ban “wasn’t properly enacted” because commissioners approved the law by four out of seven commissioners in favor, instead of the five required to approve zone changes.
St John Beach Mayor Dan Gelber had proposed closing at 2 a.m. to curb crime and limit South Beach partying until late at night. The Herald reported that the city approved the ban as a temporary pilot program and intended to hold a citywide referendum in November to ask voters if it should be permanent.
Cleveland attorney Alexander Tachmes told the newspaper he was glad the city decided to stop enforcing its new law. He said his hope was that the decision would encourage collaboration between the city and the companies that run its world-famous nightlife.
“The ordinance was not properly approved and we are confident that the ordinance will be repealed by 2am at the end of the litigation,” he said.