This past Halloween, SushiSamba hosted its annual cosplay party. Each year, Lincoln Road and Pennsylvania Avenue turn into an outdoor spectacle as revelers dress as their favorite manga and anime characters. The party, which starts at 7 p.m. and lasts until 5 a.m., sees its fair share of sexy costumes.
A quick Instagram search shows women dressed as naughty schoolgirls with their pristine white shirts unbuttoned, romantic vampires, and seductive nurses. During all of this holiday fun, things took an interesting turn inside the restaurant.
Miami Beach resident Heidi Calvin shared a photograph taken by a friend at SushiSamba between midnight and 1 a.m. Though Calvin wasn't there, she says the friend — whom she declined to name — and another woman decided to have a cocktail at SushiSamba. According to Calvin, "There was a bouncer at the door, only allowing people of a certain age into the restaurant." The women then encountered several scenes that could have been taken from the Fifty Shades of Grey playbook. The women took a photo as evidence of what they saw.
As Calvin described it in an email, the photo "shows a topless woman, evidently wearing a thong underneath her tutu, bent over, being beaten by two men, each with whips in their hands. The woman’s buttocks
Just as interesting as the photo is the response Calvin received when she emailed the photo to Miami Beach Commissioner Jonah Wolfson. In an email chain, the commissioner replies to the claim that the woman in the photo is topless: "I have less problem with the
New Times sent the photo to SushiSamba's representatives. Commissioner Wolfson has not yet responded to an email and phone call for comment.
This is the third strange incident that's happened in Miami Beach restaurants in the past month.
In October, a graphic video went viral showing 22-year-old Miamian Angelic Valle sprawled naked across a table at Johnny Rockets on Ocean Drive while several men poured water and ketchup on her. Valle has been arrested on charges of indecent exposure, lewd and lascivious behavior, and disorderly conduct. Her family says she suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
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Just last week, employees at the Five Guys restaurant on Washington Avenue were filmed beating an apparent customer. A Five Guys spokesperson told NBC Miami: "The actions displayed in the video are simply unacceptable. We are working with the franchise owner to do a full investigation and ensure appropriate disciplinary actions are taken."
Calvin says that when she walks into restaurants like SushiSamba, she doesn't expect to see nudity. "In California, you have to have a license to have shows like that; otherwise, it's public indecency. My friends were appalled. Why should we, the public, be exposed to that?"
Calvin also says she's more concerned that people are indifferent to these goings-on than the behavior itself. "Where's the humanity?"
Update: Danielle Billera, managing partner of Samba Brands Management, has issued a statement about the incident: "Every year, the Halloween parade and party in Miami draws thousands. As in years past, SushiSamba was pleased to join our Lincoln Road neighbors in the celebration. Miami authorities are present and, as always, they did a great job monitoring the evening. We were grateful to celebrate with the community and look forward to continuing to participate in these events."