What to Know
- Under an agreement with the city, the lounge must pay fines of $12,150 and make a $10,000 donation to Peaceful Ridge Rescue for Horses
- The lounge is also no longer allowed to have any animals in the business except for service animals
The Mokai Lounge nightclub on Miami Beach is set to reopen after losing its business license after a video showing a woman riding a horse inside the club surfaced on social media.
Under an agreement reached with the city Monday, the lounge must pay fines of $12,150, must make a $10,000 donation to Peaceful Ridge Rescue for Horses, and is no longer allowed to have any animals in the business except for service animals.
"No, we are not bringing any more animals at all, at all! Other than maybe service animals as required by law. But no, no more animal acts," said Louis Terminello, an attorney for the club.
An emergency revocation of the lounge's license was issued on March 9 after the video showing a woman trying to stay on top of a horse amid a large crowd in the club surfaced. Police later said the horse was located and deemed healthy and safe.
Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales determined that the incident was an "actual threat to the public health, welfare and safety" of the city and amounted to cruelty to animals.
At a hearing Monday, dozens of club employees showed up with T-shirts with the words "save our jobs" on them. Morales said preserving the jobs was a factor in decision to let the club reopen.
"We take very seriously what transpired in that club, and we wanted to structure an arrangement that would likely ensure that such improper conduct would never happen again at this business," Morales said in a statement Monday. "This agreed order essentially creates a permanent revocation penalty for this business should they ever use an animal in that establishment again."