Longform

Wynwood Bar Owners Say There's a Conspiracy to Kill the Neighborhood

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"Everything that is happening is by the book," he said while sitting at the bar. "But even if it's legit, do you really want to be forced to comply with the group that is behind the complaints? They are having police enforce the rules, but that's because the rules work for their concept [of 24-hour clubs]."

At the moment, Zapata is caught between police officers who say they are cleaning up Wynwood and bar owners who think cops are killing it. While Ferro wants him to organize the owners, Zapata just wants to keep Shots — and his family — afloat.

"It bit us in the ass at first," he said of the arrests before pausing to sip a Red Bull. "But what it shows is that they are starting to feel the pressure over in Park West. Wynwood is growing. And it's going to be a player."

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.