Pubbelly's Juan F. Ayora called New Times with some good news on Monday morning. "All of our restaurants are OK, including the ones in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic," Ayora says.
But Ayora isn't feeling great about his restaurants this morning. That's because neither Ayora nor his Pubbelly Group partners are allowed back to the Beach to assess any damages due to mayor Philip Levine's curfew, which lasts until noon on Tuesday. Ayora only knew the status of the Miami Beach Pubbelly restaurants from his director of operations who lives on the beach and decided to ride out the storm there.
The extended curfew means lost revenue for businesses — as much as $100,000 a day, according to Ayora. The owner says he'd hoped to open Pubbelly early on Tuesday with a discounted menu for locals sick of eating canned tuna in a boarded up condo. But that will be almost impossible since he can't get in earlier to reopen the restaurant.
"We were going to stay closed today, of course, but open tomorrow," he says. "We wanted to get supplies in. We had a plan."
Miami Beach officials, though, say the extended curfew is a necessity because streets are too unsafe to use.
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But Ayora says that restaurant and shop owners aren't the only people to lose money when businesses are forced to remain closed by officials. "Many workers are hourly and they need their paychecks," he says.
Ayora, who was in New York during Hurricane Sandy, says that things were much different in the Big Apple after the 2012 storm ravaged much of New Jersey and caused major damage in New York City.
"As soon as the winds died down, people were back to work," he says. "It's the American way. We just want to get back to work without government deciding for us."