Store manager

Miami Beach liquor store manager says curfew ‘unfair’

(NewsNation) – A Miami Beach liquor store manager says the city’s curfew, which requires stores like his to stop selling alcohol at 6 p.m., is unfair, especially more than restaurants can stay open.

The citywide curfew, which went into effect at midnight Thursday in Miami Beach, follows violent spring break incidents that left five people injured in two separate shootings. It’s until Monday 6 a.m.

During this period, shops, bars and restaurants serving alcohol to anyone drinking outside the establishment will not be allowed to sell alcohol after 6 p.m. The curfew only applies to Miami Beach, not the city of Miami.

As Wilson Arevalo, who worked for Gulf Liquors for 22 years, pointed out, that means people can still go to a restaurant, sit down and have a drink there. Some, he said, cross the bridge into downtown Miami to drink alcohol.

“I went out to a restaurant last night and had dinner and had a few drinks,” Arevalo said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.”

Arevalo, on the other hand, had to close its store, which is the oldest in South Beach, at 6 p.m.

“It’s really unfair to local businesses like mine,” Arevalo said. “We’re really sad about it and worried because honestly, that’s how we make a living. That’s how we work.”

Closing early can mean losing “thousands and thousands of dollars,” Arevalo said.

But more than that, Arevalo cares about Gulf Liquors customers.

“We have customers who rely on us,” he said.

Miami Beach City Commissioner Ricky Arriola called the curfew a “draconian” emergency measure, according to The New York Times.

He said they were needed, despite the effects on business, because of crime hitting Miami Beach after spring break, The Times reported. Residents also said they were fed up with the chaos that occurs during this time.

“It’s a peculiar crowd that comes here, especially at this time of year, and doesn’t behave with normal civilian rules of conduct,” Arriola said, according to the newspaper.

A native of South Beach, Arevalo said he’s also bothered by negative influences coming to town and ruining a good time for those who just want to have fun and enjoy the “beautiful sun, sand and beaches.”

“Who said you had to bring guns?” Arevalo, who said he heard gunshots while inside his own home, added. “I can’t even enjoy my own neighborhood because I’m afraid of being shot, I’m afraid of being robbed.”

Police, after the first night of the curfew, called it a success and said it made for a quiet night.

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