"Scotty has joined the Dark Side? Say it ain't so!" - Phone call from a neighbor tonight
Stopping the Grove Bay development on Biscayne Bay is a tough fight. The investors are smothering their campaign with money and sadly, they just cut a deal with the owner of Scotty's Landing restaurant, Scott Wessel.
Today Wessel agreed to sell the "Scotty's" name to the Grove Bay developers and to endorse their
Site of the proposed "New Scotty's"
plans to build a shopping center on Dinner Key.
If they win in the November 5 election, they will tear down his restaurant, build an ugly box behind it (off the water, see above) and call it "Scotty's Landing".
In the Grove Bay proposal, "Hanger 49" is now the "New Scotty's Landing" (Did they steal this design from Farm Stores?)
They may let Wessel and his staff run the place as well.
Here is Scotty's water view now,
If Grove Bay succeeds, here is what the water view will be from the "New Scotty's",
The Scotty's fight was never about Scott or his future. It was his restaurant's special relationship with the water. It has been the rare spot where you can enjoy a casual beer, a burger and "touch the bay".
At the "new Scotty's", you'll be surrounded by concrete, some thirsty plants, and have with the distant, dubious water view above.
If the measure passes, Scotty's will be replaced by a monster Shula's Steakhouse.
It's like Home Depot comes to the Grove all over again.
Scott's restaurant was always a small part of the Grove Bay fight. The real battle asks, "Do we want a Bayside shopping center on the Coconut Grove waterfront?". If your answer is "No", keep fighting the fight.
Rest assured that "Stop Grove Bay" continues to have two good chances to win.
More and more people are joining the opposition to this misguided effort (www.stopgrovebay.com). Over 130 people came to the rally last night to kick off the "STOP" campaign.
Grove businessman, Steve Kneapler, stepped up to the mike to announce that he had filed a second lawsuit against the City of Miami to stop the bayside development.
Steve was on the RFP selection committee and told us,
"The whole process stunk to high heaven. We can't let the City continue to ignore its own laws and rules".
If Steve wins, we all win. Then we'll begin the RFP process again, one that is more fair and open to decide the 7-acre's fate.
Scott Wessel and his wife, Kate, are good people. I guess they are doing what they can to stay in the game. I am sure the decision was not easy for them. No matter what happens, they come out ahead.
If Grove Bay wins the election -and the court fight- the Wessels will sell beer from Scotty's Farm Store in the parking lot.
If the Grove Bay developers lose, the Wessels get to keep their place on the water until someone comes up with a better idea.
Call it "Scotty's Landing", "Sarnoff's Landing", or "The Laughing Developer". It'll be interesting to see how The Dark Side tries to foil us in the next few weeks.
In the mean time,
May The Force be With You.
Why not join The Force? Make a donation. Maybe Darth Sarnoff will wake up, announce, "What was I thinking?", and vote "No" on November 5.
He would if he cared more about Coconut Grove.
You can contact The Force at their website, www.stopgrovebay.com .