Gulf Liquors proprietor sues Miami Seaside over weekend liquor retailer closures imposed after spring break chaos – WSVN 7News | Miami Information, Climate, Sports activities
MIAMI BEACH, FL. (WSVN) – A fight over last call was the last straw for a South Beach liquor store owner who has filed a lawsuit against the City of Miami Beach.
Jorge Zubigaray, the owner of Gulf Liquors on Alton Road and 17th Street, has owned his business for more than two decades.
“I love the Beach, no doubt about this. I’ve supported the Beach more than you can think of. I’ve been here for 24 years,” he said.
The business owner spoke with 7News about the legal steps he took late Wednesday afternoon over city commissioners’ spring break-related move to close liquor stores early.
“I don’t consider it fair shutting me down ’cause I sell liquor when the issue is on Ocean Drive,” he said.
Zubigaray was referring to this past weekend’s deadly shootings and widely documented bedlam that inspired a state of emergency declaration, a temporary curfew for the city and a special meeting on Monday to address the chaos.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber summed up the concerning situation succinctly.
“We had two deaths in two days,” said the mayor, referring to the shootings on late Friday night and early Sunday morning that left two men dead.
Despite recommendations for another curfew from Gelber and City Manager Alina Hudak, commissioners opted not to have a curfew this coming weekend. Instead, they decided to close all package liquor stores in South Beach from Thursday to Sunday, starting at 6 pm
Zubigaray said the commissioners’ decision is unacceptable.
“This is not hurting their pocket, so they don’t care about it,” he said.
Gulf Liquors, with all its A-list celebrity photos on the wall, will miss out on nighttime business during a big weekend that includes Ultra Music Festival and spring break, despite the fact that his store, located steps away from Lincoln Road, sits several blocks north and west of Ocean Drive, where much of the spring break party rages.
On the other hand, restaurants, bars and clubs in and around the heart of the entertainment district will get to stay open through the night and into the next morning.
“I’m filing for an injunction, an emergency injunction with the courts, to be able to free me up to be able to open my store, along with the lawsuit to the city,” said Zubigaray.
Now, with another busy weekend looming and the task of having to secure the city days removed from a spring break weekend debacle, city leaders have yet another legal challenge, and it’s being served up by Gulf Liquors.
“This is the last thing I want to do,” said Zubigaray.
7News has reached out to city officials for comment on the lawsuit.
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