There’s nothing really to like about Scotty’s Landing in Coconut Grove.
The place is dreckish, peeling apart at the seams. The food is meh. It’s hot. The crowd is borderline Star-Wars-bar-in-Buffet-shirts, sketchy. There are dogs on bar stools. You’re glad you get service and we’ll leave it at that.
There is, however, a lot to love about the place.
It is one of the only still-standing landmarks of Coconut Grove’s history. It is nostalgic and fun. As Groveite Maggie Simpson says in her Change.org petition to save Scotty’s Landing, it “is about a simple mix of boats, water, salt air, dogs, seagulls and pelicans, grilled fish and burgers, and of course, ice cold beer. This tradition is the Miami we grew up with…”
What’s not to love?
Tradition is scarce these days. The pace of change is feverishly accelerated these days. Especially in this current cultural “explosion” era of Miami.
We have massive development being lead by rock “starchitects” who are transforming our city into an Instagram-friendly Gotham. Herzog & de Meuron; Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and a half a dozen A List architects are leaving their tropical modernist stamp on our beloved, Magic City.
And that’s a good thing. In moderation.
What’s gone though, is the real Miami. All of our sentimental and historical landmarks are in jeopardy, in the name of progress. We’ve already lost Jimbo’s. Now Scotty’s Landing is on the block.
Showing further signs of urban ageism, Tobacco Road and Mac’s Club Deuce will be next, undoubtedly.
Heck, Holleman’s in Miami Springs, where my grandfather pestered the Flo-like waitresses for decades, is gone now. In it’s place – a new, more modern “Cuban” restaurant.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Cuban food, but let’s get serious here. The location is just two minutes from Hialeah which is replete with better, mami y papi-run Cuban restaurants than you can shake a chancleta at.
This isn’t a new concept though. Remember when we lost the Serpentareum, the Parrot Jungle and the beloved Biscayne Cafeteria on Miracle Mile? That one still stings.
If Fox’s Sherron Inn in South Miami goes, I’m going with it.
That is all I have to say about that.
Scotty’s Landing and the Charthouse are set to be demolished and set to be replaced 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. Which is great, because we can’t fund our public schools, but a new $20 million parking garage seems like a sound investment.
I read Grove advocate (and an elementary school friend of my father’s) Glenn Terry’s blog post this morning, and another one on Thursday and if you care at all about what happens to this local darling, sign up for his posts. Learn about who is behind pushing for this change. (Spoiler alert: there may be some mordacious, Miami politicos of ill-repute behind these decisions. Shock. Awe.)
Learn what you can do about it. And do it.
Terry says “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.”
Do not be fooled into thinking that the future is fixed. It isn’t. It’s chosen.
We can rise up against the inevitabilities of “progress” and development,” triumphant against the seemingly-unstoppable political machines.
You saw the Matrix, right?
Vote on November 5 for a new Mayor. This is Miami, vote twice.
Save Scotty’s Landing and our traditions.