South Beach’s Clevelander Pausing Food and Beverage Service Over Safety

Miami Beach’s Clevelander hotel is temporarily pausing its food and beverage service amid safety concerns over recent rowdy behavior in South Beach.

Management from the Clevelander South Beach released a statement Friday that they temporarily closing food and beverage operations at the Ocean Drive hot spot until at least March 24.

“Recently, we have grown increasingly concerned with the safety of our dedicated employees and valued customers and the ability of the City to maintain a safe environment in the surrounding area,” the statement read. “We will re-evaluate the situation over the coming days and decide whether to re-open or remain temporarily closed.”

The Clevelander will continue to pay employees their full salary during the closure, the statement said.

The news comes after a wild Thursday night on Ocean Drive that started with a fight at a restaurant and ended in multiple arrests and police shooting pepper balls to disperse a large crowd.

“We’re seeing these crowds turn on officers, we’re seeing these crowds surround the officers and we can’t wait for an officer to be attacked, we have to be proactive,” Miami Beach Police Sgt. Ernesto Rodriguez said.

RAW: Footage shows a wild brawl at a Miami Beach restaurant on March 18, 2021.

Miami Beach officials have vowed to crack down this year on what they say are out-of-control spring break crowds, adding more officers, enforcing laws more stringently, and closing streets.

Despite the new measures, there have been many arrests and some violence reported, including a fatal shooting of a man earlier this week.

“Listen, I hate what I’m seeing as the mayor, as a resident, and someone who loves this city, and we’re doing everything we can with volume policing, we’re arresting dozens and dozens of people every single night to try to create a sense of order,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said Friday.

Gelber said things are mostly peaceful in the daytime but the issues begin after sundown.

“You know, it’s very challenging, we got a huge number of people coming every day, we may be the only place that’s open to a lot of them, cheap air fare, discounted rooms, our streets are getting gridlocked too often and of course even though a small percentage are really problems in terms of their conduct, a small percentage of a lot of people is a lot of people, so it’s been challenging for our cops,” Gelber said.

Gelber said earlier this week that he’d like to make major changes to the city’s entertainment district.

“Listen, I’m not the mayor in ‘Jaws,’ I’m not gonna say ‘everything is great.’ This is really challenging, it’s very disappointing, and I can’t stand it and until we get rid of this district as an anything-goes district, this is what we’re gonna have to try to manage,” Gelber said. “We don’t need 145 bars that are open ‘til 5…

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