Restaurants Endure Curbs As Infection Rates Fall

Two dozen restaurants, many trying to both stay afloat and follow rules, have been cited in Miami-Dade for violating curfew edits.

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The couple at Mister 01 pizza in Brickell had their pizza boxed up Wednesday night and were ready to go, just waiting on the bill, when one took a sip of wine.

In swooped City of Miami inspectors, who cited the restaurant for a curfew violation.

The curfew begins at 10 p.m.

It was 10:02.

"We are obviously aware of the 10 p.m. curfew and we have been always closing our pizzeria on time," said owner Umberto Mascagni. "We see the police and inspectors all the time on Brickell at closing time."

In fact, surveillance video shows them standing outside at 9:56 as it was closing up shop.

Mister 01's Brickell location is one of 24 restaurants to be cited, fined $500 and shut down for 24 hours for violating the Miami-Dade County curfew order.

"You know we’ve been following rules and safety procedures from day one and this unfortunate event will cost us $500 dollars and, more importantly, be closed for 24 hours in a difficult moment like this," Mascagni said.

While the store lost revenue and wasted fresh food, "This will cause damage not only to the company, but more importantly employees will lose hours of work to support their families," Mascagni said, noting 10 to 15 employees were idled Thursday.

Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid, a restaurant owner himself, said rules are needed, but what happened to Mister 01 a bit excessive.

"We've got to use better discretion," Cid said. "The curfew -- I know why the county mayor had put in place, specifically because there are people going to clubs, partying, having a good time without wearing a mask. But that is completely different from somebody getting together over a glass a wine and having a slice of pizza and they’re on their way out."

With infection rates under 10% in Miami-Dade for three straight days, Cid continues his call to loosen restrictions.

"I definitely think there’s a way to reopen and let some of those folks not lose their livelihoods," Cid said, by "wearing a mask, doing what’s right and having the proper procedure. But we cant keep having everything closed or certain industries closed."

At Mister 01 pizza, Mascagni has been getting by with delivery and an outdoor seating area, but is hoping for more.

"We respect the rules," he said. "We respect everything. We're just here to work every day and hoping to go back to normal as soon as possible."

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