The nightlife scene in Miami is iconic, and has been for decades. For the past 5 months, however, it’s been shut down. NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz spoke to Romain Zago, owner and managing partner of South Beach’s Mynt Lounge, about how the pandemic has impacted his business.
SHELI: Describe the past 5 months since you last opened the doors of the nightclub.
ZAGO: It's been a very painful 5 months, not only being closed; you're not just closing the business, you're closing down the income of so many families. You're closing the possibility or potential that we had to provide food. I think the government tends to forget that you're not just shutting down businesses, you're shutting down families and their income.
SHELI: Do you think nightlife should come back right now?
ZAGO: Listen, if you open Walmart, if you open Costco, if you open Home Depot, it's sort of all the same. There is this distinction, of course, in a nightclub you're drinking, there is proximity, but when you cross paths with somebody in a supermarket or Walgreens, you're doing basically the same. So, give us some rules, give us some protocols to follow, we will, we will adapt, but at least we will be able to provide back.
I think people tend to forget that entertainment, which includes hotels, bars, restaurants, beaches is an interconnected world. Concerts, NBA games, these things are a way to re-create yourself, and it's a way of forgetting about the stress right now, right? So, instead people are doing prescription drugs, people are committing suicide, and no one wants to talk about it, because it's so painful to the eye, but instead we're closing businesses and I think there's a big problem in there.
SHELI: Miami nightlife is so iconic, what do you see is the future of the industry? Are people going to be wearing masks on the dance floor?
ZAGO: It's a very good question and a very difficult one to answer because you're not going to tell someone to have a cigarette or have a drink with a mask on. You're not going to tell someone to socialize, or a date, or a make out whatever it is, dance with a mask on. It's very complicated and that's where the fear comes in. There's no deadline, there's no when are we going to reopen.
SHELI: What gives you hope?
ZAGO: Hope is the vaccine, and the elections.