Restaurants Defiant Of New Reopening Rollbacks, Will The City Enforce?

Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez, took additional moves today to rollback the reopening of businesses, by ordering the closing of “restaurants (except for takeout and delivery services), along with ballrooms, banquet facilities, party venues, gyms and fitness centers, and short-term rentals.”

The change follows a the Mayor’s Moving To A New Normal Dashboard showing over 14 days of consecutive increases in COVID-19 hospital admissions and a 75.4% occupancy of all ICU beds Countywide.

The move motivated a group of restaurant owners in Coral Gables to hold a meeting on Giralda to plan the defiance of the Mayor’s order, and only four days after another set of rollbacks and a curfew took effect.

Restaurant owners voiced their concern over the viability of their businesses to endure another lengthy shutdown.

The order requires restaurant dining rooms be shut down effective Wednesday, July 7th. Gables Insider reached out to City Administration on whether the City would be enforcing the Mayor’s order or if the City would waive its jurisdiction to allow Miami-Dade Police to enforce. Staff did not reply to our requests.

Coral Gables Commissioner Mike Mena said the following on the matter:

“I do not agree with the County Mayor’s decision today to re-close restaurants. This is decimating news for our local restaurants, which have invested so much time, money, and effort in responsibly re-opening following the initial lockdown and I hope he reconsiders.

While we are all conscientious of the rising number of positive results throughout the State of Florida and many other parts of the country, shutting down these restaurants and destroying the lives of the low and middle income families they support, is in my opinion misguided at this point. Is the plan to continue going back and forth like this until there is a vaccine? Because that is not a plan. And at some point, there just won’t be any restaurants left to close.

I believe the more prudent approach would have been to strictly enforce the various measures that we already have in place. In my personal experience, the restaurants that I have visited in Coral Gables are acting very responsibly. Those who are vulnerable due to their age or a preexisting medical condition, can and should continue to take extra precautions. We can protect the vulnerable without sacrificing the lives that so many others have built.

With that said, our local restaurants are subject to the County’s order. Elected officials all over the world are making difficult judgment calls. And while I may not agree with him on this decision, I have to respect Mayor Gimenez and the County’s authority. I think any suggestion that the City refuse to enforce the County’s authority is irresponsible and would constitute a reckless abdication of our duties at a time when cooperation – and serving as an example for following the rules – is paramount.”


22 thoughts on “Restaurants Defiant Of New Reopening Rollbacks, Will The City Enforce?

  1. Close them down,
    who works in the back of these restaurants? who works in the kitchens?
    poor usually minority labors with no health insurance or sometime illegals.
    want to get covid? think that you are safe? well you are not safe, its spreading
    there are 40 yo and 50 yo dying of this.
    Look at Dr Glenn Barquet, in perfect health with a wife and 3 children.
    Don’t take stupid chances. Stay home, wear a mask and stay away from people.
    Money cant buy you happiness and money cant replace your life!

  2. KEEP THE RESTAURANTS AND BUSINESSES OPEN! if you think your safety is at risk, then do not leave your house! Quarantine the sick not the healthy. Who the heck is no one to tell people how to live? When to go out? Who to force individuals to stay home? Put the blame where it belongs! Do you think restaurants are the cause of the positives? Yet, protesters have nothing to do with this??? No one gets out of this life… alive. Therefore, no official nor politician is going to stop people from living!
    Open Business!
    Open Schools!
    Move on!

  3. Let me start by saying that I do understand what the restaurant owners and their patrons are saying, but if all the restaurants were following all the rules, why did the City have to shut down Hillstone, a Miracle Mile very popular and well known restaurant in the middle of the day July first???
    Obviously they were not following the rules!!! How come Code Enforcement has been issuing citations galore? Let’s not pretend that since we live in Coral Gables everything is “honky dory.”
    I guess what you don’t see, or know, will not hurt you. Tell it to those who have been infected through no fault of their own!
    I hope that NO City official, whether elected or not, is supporting any defiance of the rules.
    We like to brag about all the rules that we have to maintain our Beautiful City as it is. Encouraging, or even supporting our businesses in their defiance would open a very wide door for others to do the same and disregard any rule that they do not agree with!

  4. Very glad to hear Commissioner Mena stands by restaurant owners and they should not be punished anymore. Those who do NOT follow the rules should be asked to leave. Period.

  5. I agree wholeheartedly with all the comments above! I think our CG leadership should step up to the plate and not just follow Gimenez’s back an forth decisions. After some pressure from God knows who restaurants are allowed to take customers only outside which really doesn’t help much in 98 degree weather. He also backtracked on the gym openings a day after he said they would close! These folks have gone through a lot during the first shutdown and many will not make it. Coral Gables rents are very high and with these limitations they won’t even break even. Not to mention all those living from paycheck to paycheck that will be left out of a job. I hope our CG commissioners and Mayor will look hard into this. There’s a lot of restaurants in our City that do not have outdoor seating. They have contributed dearly to your tax coffers throughout the years. I think they deserve better!

  6. I believe that the source of the new covid 19 infections should be identified before just shutting down everything. It’s not a matter of dollars over safety, its a matter of common sense. I believe that these restaurants have gone to great lengths to provide a safe environment for its clients and this should be considered. I have not seen a ban on public gatherings such as protests since these are in direct violation of social distancing rules. I believe that commissioner Mena is correct in his assessment and the mayor should take decisions in consultation with other public officials not irrespective of them. Keep those restaurants and other institutions that are in compliance with the new safety rules open and address the type of behavior that has led to the increase in covid 19 cases. Lastly though the covid 19 cases are on the increase nobody seems to mention that the death rate is at an all time low since this began; again everything must be taken into context when making these decisions.

  7. It is preposterous to consider closing down restaurants again. What is the end game? You close up only to re-open again? The virus is not going away. Opening and re-closing does not make sense and will not stop the virus from spreading. What it will do, is put our restaurants out of business permanently. Our Coral Gables restaurants have been fantastic in observing strict social distancing and cleaning guidelines. You are not allowed to enter a single restaurant without a mask on.

    All of these politicians are just caving under the pressure imposed on them by the mainstream media. I wonder how many of those media outlets would call for lock downs if their livelihoods depended on staying open. I have been a resident of Coral Gables for 30 years now. I love this City. It is time for our local City politicians to start protecting our great entrepreneurs and stop pandering to the wishes of the media.

  8. Enough! I do not fall for any of what’s going on. We’ve always had influenza & that has/is killing the elder vulnerable population like it always has. Are we now going to shut everything down everytime we have a new flu strain? Really? Is that the new normal from now to always?
    The 2020 virus is worse than Covid19.
    Put your glasses on America, it’s time to wake up.

  9. Leave restaurants open please, we need to help business owners as well. A healthy economy is also important. By the way, how many of these cases are because of the protests? Nobody is mentioning that. The restaurants have tried their best to follow protocol, but the protests were germ festivals….

  10. Another instance of “I’m so special and so the rules shouldn’t apply to me.” I’m shocked that the people of Coral Gables think this way. Shocked, I tell you.

  11. Thank you Mayor Gimenez for having the courage to roll back our reopening of restaurants and gyms. I know small business owners are angry but we must do something to stem the tide of this surge of cases. Otherwise we are going to run out of ICU beds and hospital beds. You are making the responsible decision. Peoples lives are more important than making money. It’s not just older people who get infected and die. Also, if we don’t get our cases down, opening schools in the fall It’s going to be a serious problem. If I have to choose between closing the restaurants now or opening the schools later, I would choose the schools.

    Those of you who are angry, support our restaurants by ordering takeout frequently. It’s not such a horrible sacrifice to have to eat your meal at home for a little while to get the number of cases down and save lives.

    Mike Mena I would like to thank you for supporting our mayor. It does more harm than good when there is divisiveness among politicians.

  12. It is absurd that Mayor Gimenez keeps changing the rules of the game. He obviously does not understand what it took for restaurants to reopen. He should have enforced the curfew during the protests/riots.

  13. As a Gables resident I’m opposed to closing down our restaurants again. Vulnerable people should stay home. Let life be as normal as possible for the rest of our residents.

  14. I am 100% in agreement with leaving the restaurants open. As long as they meet the standards and safety guidelines established, it seems to be a drastic measure. I have not seen data to support such a move. Yes the number of covid cases have been rising, but is their a specific link to restaurants?

  15. The city has not enforced many things such as the wearing of masks during protests and social distancing during protests. The Coral Gables restaurants have been particularly careful and have not been crowded because the citizens of Coral Gables who are older or vulnerable have chosen not to go out to restaurants. The vulnerable are taking care of themselves.

    Coral Gables needs to support its businesses by not enforcing the restaurant close down. Restaurants should still be able to serve outside at the very least. Just as the city chose to not enforce certain other mandates, I feel it’s justified to not enforce this one. The vulnerable population already knows how to take care of itself. If a restaurant gets closed down again, it might never be able to reopen and all of the employees will lose their jobs. This affects everyone. We are not Miami Beach and we are not city of Miami. We are not a tourist hotspot. So the same rules don’t make sense for Coral Gables.

    I am not a restaurant owner or employee, but I am a longtime resident of the Coral Gables community and want to support our businesses and the long-term viability of our restaurants.

  16. I agree with Coral Gables Commissioner Mike Mena. Responsible restaurant business owners and their employees should not be made the easy target for the reckless behavior of partiers and large crowds that are fueling the rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide. Instead of destroying small businesses, focus on enforcement of social distancing and mandatory face masks in all public places and businesses – the same way that smoking is prohibited in all enclosed indoor workplaces by Florida’s Clean Air Act.

  17. The spike in cases is not coming from restaurants who are very responsibly following the orders. This is reckless and the easy way out. We must come together to prevent more small businesses from going under. Remember this when voting time rolls around. Our politicians have failed us.

  18. Mr. Mena is correct. Our city’s restaurants have acted responsibly. They should not be punished because of ignorant, greedy and irresponsible people in other areas of Dade county. It would be a terrible burden on the small, independent restaurant owners of our city if they need to go thru another round of closures.

  19. I sympathize with the restaurant owners about the new restrictions. I am not expert enough to know whether it is the right thing to do. I leave that to the public health experts to decide. I do know one thing. The residents of Coral Gables must do more to support the restaurants. We have to take out more(don’t use delivery services because they take a big chunk of revenue). Also be generous with tips which go directly to staff. Unless we all step up, we will lose our wonderful restaurants which is part of Coral Gables’ DNA.

  20. Strict enforcement of Social distancing is a must. People are not abiding by the rules. Younger generation seem to not care and parents just want to make their kids feels good.

    If people are not abiding by the rules, then the business owners MUST STRICTLY enforce them and not allow people into their establishments or simply, refuse to serve.

    I agree with Mayor Jimenez. By taking this action he is basically saying “since you do not want to follow the rules and behave like responsible adults, then we as your elected officials must do something to keep this virus at bay”

    Stay Safe

  21. So the restaurants are putting dollars over peoples lives. You can bet I will not be going to any restaurant on Giralda in hurry or ever again. How irresponsible can you be.

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