The clock is ticking for more than a dozen sidewalk cafés in Miami Beach that are being denied their permits for at least one year because of code violations.
Several restaurants are suing the city over a policy that would likely put them out of business. Ole Ole, a steakhouse on Lincoln Road, just got notice it’s outdoor dining permit is being revoked for one year because of code violations.
But the restaurant manager insists those violations were never substantiated and she said an instance of overstuffed garbage cans was remedied immediately.
"They are about to close our restaurant, which is a family business restaurant," Raul Leones said Friday. "We have more than 50 employees in this restaurant and they are about to lose their jobs."
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The restaurant, along with a second on Lincoln Road, are asking a judge to prevent the city from enforcing the suspension of the permit, saying the city is all wrong.
Out of 144 Miami Beach businesses that applied for the permit or looked to renew their existing outdoor dining permit 13 have been denied according to city officials because the restaurants have repeated violations.
Violations are for thing like excessive noise or an aggressive host looking to encourage people to come inside the restaurant. Overstuffed garbage cans are another violation.
And for those 13 restaurants, sidewalk operations are done, now suspended for a year at the end of the month.
Several dozen people were out Monday at City Hall protesting and urging Miami Beach commissioners to reconsider their position.
"Cafes are not rights, they are privileges and that’s public right of way so we have a right to be able to demand a certain level of performance from these folks, and in fact if we want this area to have a minimum standard of performance that is elevated, we have the right to do that," Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.
Some restaurants have a list of violations and city officials said some of the restauranteurs are repeat offenders.
City Commissioners said the measures are right in line with their effort to clean up Miami Beach's image, like the measure to move last call from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m., which was passed by voters earlier this month.
The 13 restaurants are:
Ole Ole - 626 Lincoln Road
Boteco Copacabana - 437 Espanola Way
Espanola Cigar - 409 Espanola Way
Cuba Libre - 524 Ocean Drive
Voodoo Rooftop Lounge and Hookah - 928 Ocean Drive
Il Giardino - 1236 Ocean Drive
Ocean 7 Cafe - 660 Ocean Drive
The Place - 720 Ocean Drive
Caffe Milano - 850 Ocean Drive
Carlyle Cafe - 1250 Ocean Drive
Il Bolognese - 1400 Ocean Drive
Jalapeno Mexican Kitchen - 530 Ocean Drive
Tapelia - 551 Lincoln Road