In the aftermath of a fatal shooting in South Beach on Sunday, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine got into a shouting match with the owner of a top bar on Ocean Drive during a press conference.
Levine, a second-term mayor in the Beach and potential gubernatorial candidate, hurled insults at the owner of Mango's Tropical Cafe when he objected to proposals to limit alcohol sales and reduce outdoor noise on Ocean Drive.
The owner, David Wallack, spoke up as Levine talked about improving the brand of Miami Beach.
“You’re talking about businesses that created the label ‘Miami Beach,’ ” Wallack shouted.
Levine responded by attacking Wallack's business acumen.
“You know what you did? You inherited a business. Go get a job. Go build a company. And go tell me when you build something,” snapped Levine.
Wallack actually founded Mango’s, among the top-grossing nightclubs in the U.S., in the 1990s. Before opening Mango’s, Wallack relocated an existing assisted living facility he’d founded in the building on Ocean Drive, which he inherited from his father.
The testy exchange underscored the heated debate about how to prevent violence on South Beach by changing the tourist city's atmosphere. Levine is proposing the city ban alcohol sales after 2 a.m. on Ocean Drive impose stricter noise limits.