In a somber turn of events for Miami’s nightlife, Story has lost its liquor curfew battle. A recent appellate court ruling has brought the iconic Story Nightclub to the end of the road. Since the heyday of acid house and early ’90s raves, Story Nightclub on Collins Avenue has been a clubbing institution. One drawing in revelers from far and wide. However, a Miami-based three-judge panel recently rejected the club’s appeal, upholding Miami Beach’s 2 a.m. liquor sales cutoff. To the chagrin of the club’s owner, Amnesia International, this decision spells doom. I say this as the club made most of its revenue in the wee hours of the night when the crowds were at their peak, and alcohol sales were booming.
Legal Battles and Discriminatory Actions
Despite the club’s legal battle, the attorneys argued to no avail that Miami Beach had unfairly crafted the liquor-sales ordinance with the intention of pressuring Story Nightclub into closing. They claimed that the ordinance’s exceptions, such as granting leniency to venues with less than a 100-person capacity, constituted a raw discriminatory action by the government. This unequal treatment was apparent when the city commission actively sought to shut down Story while allowing other venues to survive, highlighting the arbitrary and capricious nature of the exceptions.
Justifications and Consequences
Miami Beach defended its position by asserting that the liquor curfew did not single out Story but applied to several other businesses. Residents’ complaints about noise, litter, and traffic caused by large crowds leaving Story Nightclub in the early hours were cited as the rationale behind the curfew. The appellate court’s ruling, while not delving deeply into the arguments, ultimately upheld Miami Beach’s stance.
This verdict deals a major blow to Story Nightclub, and its future now hangs in the balance. While the club’s case in the lower court is still pending, the recent ruling has significantly dimmed any hope of defeating the ordinance. The facts, as reasoned by Judge Diaz, are unlikely to change. It’s a somber farewell to an era of music, lights, and unforgettable nights in Miami Beach.
[H/T] – Miami New Times