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Miami Mayor Threatens to Close Walk-Up Coffee Counters If Social Distancing Isn’t Enforced

Ventanitas might be forced to shutter amid the novel coronavirus outbreak

US-CUBA-DIPLOMACY-POLITICS Photo credit should read DIEGO URDANETA/AFP via Getty Images

An international pandemic can’t seem to keep Miami residents away from their local coffee; ventanitas — which translates to “little window” in Spanish, and typically sells Cuban-style coffee drinks to-go — have become a concern of local government officials who are threatening to shut them down if socially distancing isn’t enforced there.

In his daily online address to the city yesterday, Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez said that “Some of the serving windows at restaurants, the so-called ventanitas, are very crowded... If this problem persists, we will be forced to take additional measures.”

Ventanitas currently must comply with the regulations set in place by Gimenez, who ordered the closing of in-room dining and bars last week, but still allowed restaurants to offer takeout, drive-through, drive-in, and delivery services. But concerns over the weekend of large crowds still gathering at them despite social distancing recommendations of guests staying at least six feet away from each other could make them subject to stricter enforcement. Gimenez urged restaurant owners to do a better job of enforcing those guidelines.

Traditionally, ventanitas serve as locally gathering places for those in Miami. They can be found all over the city, but are very popular in neighborhoods like Little Havana. Places like legendary Cuban eatery Versailles have become well-known in Miami for its ventanita, which is arguably just as popular as its restaurant and is the home to many social gatherings in the Cuban community.

As for now, venanitas can continue to operate as normal, but to those looking to get their cafecito fix — make sure to converse from afar.

Versailles Restaurant

3555 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33135 (305) 444-0240 Visit Website