I was happier when crooks targeted homes, my chances were better. Now 2 places I have eaten at, Joey's in Wynwood (August 29th) and a few miles away Luna Star Cafe in North Miami (early August), have been targets of armed robbers. Luna Star actually had a shot fired and the customers were robbed too. Both joints had 3 armed robbers. A McDonald's was also robbed in July at 15096 NW Seventh Avenue and in June a Chili's Restaurant at 174th Street near Northwest 57th Avenue. In these 2 cases there were 2 men carrying handguns. Like the other two robberies, they ordered all the patrons to the floor. Can you imagine lying on a dirty, disgusting restaurant floor?
Mario the Baker on West Dixie Highway in North Miami has paid an off duty cop for at least 20 years and it has been an effective crime deterrent. The Luna Star had $500 in the register. Hardly enough to pay a cop $35 an hour to stand out front. The Chili's claimed they had $600 (that I don't believe).
Will I go to Joey's or Luna Star at night anymore? Probably not. I have been going to trendy restaurants in the downtown at night. I don't think I will anymore. The police have to do better. In the case of Wynwood, this is a struggling new neighborhood trying to find its footing. There should be a policeman on foot at night. They say the incidents are isolated but tell that to a customer looking for a place to eat...won't fly. This is deadly PR.
P.S. Just found another restaurant armed robbery (3 robbers with an assault rifle and handguns): The Doral Ale House, the end of April 2011. And a reader said a Taco Bell on 163rd Street was robbed with patrons again face down on the floor (163rd Street) in July. They had assault rifles. Are we seeing a bad trend?