Voters say ‘yes’ to early closing time for South Beach bars

Florida

FILE – The Clevelander Hotel and Bar is shown at dusk along Ocean Drive, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla. Last call could come three hours earlier in Miami Beach, where voters fed up with nighttime violence chose yes to rolling back the 5 a.m. closing time for alcohol sales. The voter referendum was held Tuesday, Nov. 2, in response to increasingly raucous crowds and public drinking in the South Beach entertainment district. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Last call could come three hours earlier in Miami Beach, where voters fed up with nighttime violence chose yes to rolling back the 5 a.m. closing time for alcohol sales.

The voter referendum was held Tuesday in response to increasingly raucous crowds and public drinking in the South Beach entertainment district.

Mayor Dan Gelber declared victory, saying it’s a first step toward repositioning the district as a “live, work, play” area with new housing, offices, and cultural spaces.

Critics say cutting off alcohol sales at 2 a.m. will cost the city millions in tax revenue and won’t stop crime.

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