One of Miami Beach’s most iconic nightclubs has shuttered it’s doors for the last time.
Last weekend, the South of Fifth neighborhood’s 2 am liquor sale curfew went into effect. Just a few weeks after Swedish House Mafia performed at the club for an Ultra Miami afterparty, Story was forced to shut down for good.
Previously, businesses with a license to serve alcohol until 5 am could continue serving drinks until that time. However, now they are required to stop serving at 2 am, except for venues with a capacity of 100 people or fewer, which can continue serving until 5 am. This exception was created by restaurateur Myles Chefetz, who owns several South of Fifth businesses with 5 am licenses.
Besides STORY, there are 11 other businesses in the neighborhood with 5 am liquor licenses. Nine of them have a capacity of more than 100 people, according to city records, while three establishments hold fewer than 100. STORY was the only larger-capacity venue that listed operating hours past 2 am.
This legislation marks the first major restriction on alcohol sales since Miami Beach voters passed a referendum in 2021 calling for the citywide 5 am last call to be rolled back. Commissioners aimed to dampen South Beach’s nightlife scene, particularly in residential areas.
In March, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge ruled that the city of Miami Beach could impose the curfew but granted STORY a 30-day extension, allowing the club to operate temporarily. STORY challenged the circuit court ruling, but the Third District Court of Appeal denied their request to delay the 2 am cutoff any longer. At a court hearing, the club’s attorneys presented data showing that the club generates about 88% of its alcohol revenue between 2 and 5 am. “Story cannot live another day if this ordinance is put into effect,” attorney Sean Burstyn said.
The appeals court will likely take several months to rule on the challenge. Meanwhile, STORY is “temporarily” closed and “exploring options,” according to their spokesperson. They are also trying to relocate the club’s employees to other venues under its umbrella company during this process.