Mayor Gimenez announces plans to reopen Miami-Dade on May 18 and Calle Ocho lovers cannot wait
On May 8, Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez announced plans to reopen some businesses, including restaurants on May 18. The decision was made after hospital figures released on May 7 showed 600 fewer COVID-19 patients being hospitalized. Beaches, nightclubs, and movie theaters will remain closed. This news brings hope to the Calle Ocho businesses which rely on tourism for revenue. According to CBS Local, Little Havana had approximately 3.5 million tourists visit annually prior to the pandemic. Due to travel restrictions, these businesses will now need locals to come out and enjoy everything the neighborhood has to offer in order to stay afloat.
Little Havana and the very popular street known by many as Calle Ocho is filled with family businesses, restaurants, and nightclubs that have a history. Every year, tourists have visited Little Havana and Calle Ocho to get a much needed dose of Hispanic culture. Due to the pandemic, restaurants are doing 10 percent of their normal business. This is why the business reopening is much needed.
“We need to get the economy going and do it as safely as possible”Mayor Gimenez
Part of the processes is drafting rules—set to release next week—regarding exactly how the reopening will happen. A leaked draft revealed that one of the rules will force restaurants to reduce their capacity to 50 percent of what it once was.
These restrictions will make it more difficult for Little Havana restaurants to get their revenue back. These restaurants are looking to the locals for support, according to Fuller, one of the operating partners.
“I think people are going to stay a little closer to home when they travel this summer”Fuller
Life as Little Havana knew it may return sooner than expected, and Calle Ocho is looking to the locals to show their support.