Friday nights at Centro Wynwood usually mean big business, but under Miami-Dade County’s 12 p.m. curfew, owner Jose Estrada says things have been tough.
“Tourism that comes, they have no idea,” Estrada said. “So they’re getting here around 10:30, 11, and we’re closing at 11:30 to make sure to have everybody out by 12.”
Estrada owns two bars in Wynwood, both financially hit by last year’s shutdown of bars and nightclubs and by the curfew.
“It’s hard for us because we have employees,” Estrada said. “We have families. Our employees have families.”
He’s one of about a dozen business owners in Wynwood, along with the owners of El Patio and Coyo Taco, suing the county over money lost due to the midnight curfew.
“We all work very closely together,” Estrada said. “We felt like it was something for all of us to get together on and move forward with.”
The lawsuits calls the enforcement of the curfew “unconstitutional.”
“We felt like nobody was listening to us,” Estrada said. “Nobody cared about the nightlife, entertainment.”
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava didn’t comment on the lawsuit directly but did release a statement saying the curfew may end by next month.
It states in part, “... I have decided that if current trends continue and the 14-day average is at or below 5.5% by April 5, 2021, I will lift the curfew at that time. If at any point after lifting the curfew the 14-day positivity rate rises above 6%, I may reimpose the curfew in the interest of public safety and public health.”
Estrada says public health is his concern too.
“We want everybody to be safe,” he said. “We want to continue following the guidelines and the rules, but I don’t think the time, whether we close at 12 or at 3 a.m. really makes a difference."