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Sunday, August 25, 2013


     When I told my neighbor Dave today, that the City of Miami was getting rid of Scotty's Landing, his reaction was quick and visceral, "What?  Are they crazy? It's the best damn thing in this town!"
    Almost everyone I speak with says the same thing.  Many of us were away for the summer and while we were gone, the City made plans to demolish two of our bayside restaurants, Scotty's Landing and the Charthouse (below). 
                                   Rendering of the proposed  replacement restaurants ( "Shula's" and "Oceana") below.                                                            
This rendering shows the Shula's Steak & Seafood restaurant proposed for the Coconut Grove waterfront. 
   Then, they will replace them with a Shula's Steakhouse and an up-scale seafood restaurant, "Oceana". 

  The City's proposal creates 400,000 sq. ft. of parking and 140,000 sq. ft. of retail/restaurant/commercial space, including another restaurant behind Scotty's.  A huge, $20-million dollar parking garage will be erected on Bayshore Drive.      
When I explained this to my neighbor he asked, "Who could support such a stupid proposal?"
    I replied that our city commission had. 

   In July they voted to give their developer friends a 80-year lease for these six acres on the bay.
     The good news is that it's not a done deal.  In fact,  because it's such an obviously inside deal, one in which only one party is being given the opportunity to make millions off our precious, public park land, we get to vote.
      On November 5, when we choose our next mayor, we will be asked to approve the City's plan.  If it passes they will begin tearing down the best thing in this town and replace it with "Oceana".  
If it fails, the guys that work for us in City Hall will have to come up with a better idea.

      I'm still gathering information, trying to keep an open mind about the whole affair.  This week I will be meeting with a local official to get the city's point-of-view.   

       I do know that Scotty's is one of the coolest place in town.  It's where I take out-of-town guests for a taste of Coconut Grove.    Yes, it is in need of an upgrade but we expected that to come after Scotty's current 35-year lease was renewed.  
    Tearing down Scotty's is like going to the dentist because you have a cavity and the dentist decides to rip all your teeth out. 
    It makes no sense but the dentist makes more money.
    On November 5th, tell the dentist "No!".  Vote against the City's proposal.

                    The view from Scotty's Landing this morning


  1. WHAT? are they totally stark raving mad? NO NO NO.
    This family also votes YES to Scottys so does her overseas family who request a trip there every visit.

  2. BTW, why cant we just look at the ocean for free, why do we have to shop in retail spaces to admire it, it should be there for all and sundry.

  3. Thanks for including the fact that we still have a very good chance of voting this thing down.
    For those of us who have been following this fracas, the most harrowing part is seeing how many locals and Grove faithful have no idea that it's happening, or why. The move kill Scotty's has been going on for over a year now. A deal to hand it over to a group of developers backed by Monty's and Flanigan's actually failed last fall because, in their haste to silently rush it onto the November ballot, our dear Commissioner Sarnoff and his crew of Scotty-haters violated so many points of public procedure that the Mayor had to publicly chastise them, and strike it down.
    Now the new deal is on it's way to the polls, where a lot of interested parties would like to see it arrive quietly, and dressed as a plan to "bring in jobs and revenue."
    But I could go on and on about this. In fact, I have, and if you don't mind a personal plug for a good cause, there is a Facebook page chock full of a year's worth of tales recounting this travesty at
    Other concerned folks have also started a petition to alert the parties in power to our concerns at
    There is no referendum number as yet, but when it comes out, VOTE NO.
    Meanwhile, let's keep getting the word out, shall we?
    Thanks again,
    -Robby Robb

  4. No! Please don't get rid of Scottys!

  5. Typical Miami Political BULLCRAP being born and raised in Miami I go to Scotty's every chance I get. I do live out west in the subs so I don't go every week like I used to, I loved hearing the live bands having a cold adult beverage eating up the good food and being able to watch the boats go by at a reasonable price. So much for that I will be their to vote against these overpriced places

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  7. That is all we need in the Grove - more empty retail space like Mayfair

  8. I have to say I'm puzzled with the furor over the loss of Scotty's. The food is lousy, the service so-so, and the view only nice for the few tables along the waterside. These folks have had the waterfront leases for years and the place is a dump, including the Charthouse and the marina. Not all progress is bad - I think some of us just long for a Coconut Grove that hasn't existed in decades, a Grove this patch of the waterfront never really lived up to in the first place. I believe what the City is proposing is better than what is there now - and there's always Monty's for superior food and Kennedy Park for superior views!

  9. I agree with Dennis, the food is lousy at that place. Not to mention overpriced. They are by the water yes. but they are far and have shitty plastic 50 dollar tables and a hot tent with no fans. Seriously ? The grove deserves something better than this. Retail shops and more space for opportunities to nicer restaurants willing to invest will further improve the Grove community. In the vision aspect. I have not looked at the details of the politics. just my quick thoughts.

    1. @Dennis @thatguy
      Yes the food is mediocre and they don' t even serve my favorite beer ... But it HAS SOUL! That's also what makes the Grove unique.

  10. Hey man! Just came upon your stuff recently and really enjoy it. I kept hearing murmurs about something replacing Scotty's, and thank you for finally filling me in on some useful details!

    A quick note - one of my friends used to do city planning for Miami until a couple years ago, when he moved to work with NYC planning department. I asked him about the Scotty's thing, to see what he knew about the new plans.

    His comment was: "We did a master plan for the waterfront in the grove less than 5 years ago that replaced the convention center with a large park and Scotty's stayed. It always had a parking garage in one area so that a bunch of surface lots could be combined and have more parkland. This proposal gives the worst of everything without the park! We should demand they stick to the master plan that a great architect designed and we payed a ton of money to plan! It's not that the planning sucks. It's that they don't follow the plans!"

    Just thought it was an interesting comment to note.

    IMO - I'm not against upgrading the area, but keep it chill! Scotty's has such a good vibe that is (for some crazy reason) hard to find around town. Long time natives love Scotty's and need something like it. Waterfront, live music, pitchers of beer, bring your dog kind of place...

    Look forward to reading more of your work -

  11. This is a sad day indeed.
    I guess we all have to seek a new down to earth kind of place again.
    Too bad I will then be traveling 100 miles to Naples and to Joe's Crab Shack on 41. They have something similar w great view of the bay but no doubt not like this.
    I will miss those Sunday afternoons having a beer or shrimp with family for less than $60.00 bucks.