Misleading specials and $55 cocktails could be a thing of the past on Ocean Drive

The regulations come in response to complaints that some Ocean Drive restaurants trick customers into ordering expensive food and drinks at outdoor tables or fail to include prices on menus, hitting unsuspecting tourists with hefty bills. At a few restaurants on the popular South Beach street, a single cocktail can cost more than $50 and food specials can stick tourists with checks in the hundreds of dollars, the Miami Herald has found.

The rules aim to “improve the way some bad apples have been treating our customers on Ocean Drive,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who sponsored the amendment. “We’re trying to ensure that the customer has clarity on what they’re going to pay,” he added.

April 11, 2018 | Miami Herald | Misleading specials and $55 cocktails could be a thing of the past on Ocean Drive

Diners felt ripped off and misled. Now this Ocean Drive café is closed until July.

“The few bad apples on Ocean Drive need to clean up their act,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian, who is sponsoring an ordinance that would give the city more power to crack down on businesses that do not clearly advertise prices at sidewalk cafes. “This ruling shows the consequences will be severe.”

Some Ocean Drive restaurants attract customers to sidewalk cafes using misleading food or drink specials or fail to include prices on menus, the Miami Herald has found. A tourist hoping to take advantage of a 2-for-1 drink special, for example, might unknowingly end up ordering a $55 fishbowl-sized cocktail.

The sidewalk cafe ordinance sponsored by Samuelian, which is up for a final vote at the Miami Beach commission’s April 11 meeting, would enable the city to revoke restaurants’ permits for sidewalk cafe tables if they don’t clearly advertise prices.

The ordinance “will be another step toward improving Ocean Drive for residents and visitors,” Samuelian said in a text message.

April 4, 2018 | Miami Herald | Diners felt ripped off and misled. Now this Ocean Drive café is closed until July.