Coconut Grove's Name Change Is Kind of Pathetic

Categories: Unreal Estate

cocowalkflam.jpg
CocoWalk in Coconut Grove.
Like a college freshman named Jamie who's decided to reinvent herself under the name "Jaymi," Coconut Grove will likely rebrand itself "the Nearby Republic of Coconut Grove."

No word on how Key West, the "Conch Republic," feels about the Grove piling on its branding shtick.

But seriously, the Grove's current state and its latest attempt at relevancy is an example of what happens to a Miami neighborhood when it sells part of its character to megadevelopers who trash places like Scotty's Landing.

The Grove's golden years were back in the '60s, when the neighborhood was Miami's hippie counterculture central, and the youthful flair remained for decades. Party promoters who went on to revitalize nightlife in downtown cut their teeth in the Grove by throwing Brit-pop and alternative dance nights in the late '90s. For years, students from the University of Miami basically took over the place on Thursdays.

But then a few things happened. Though many of the original hippies stayed, they got old. And as real estate prices rose, wealthier people moved in. (It really was a bit of genius location scouting to have Ben Stiller's character's loopy, aging hippie parents in Meet the Fockers live there.)

Peace and quiet took precedence over partying, and a few years ago, Commissioner Marc Sarnoff led the charge to roll back last call from 5 a.m. to 3 a.m., which is downright puritanical by Miami-Dade standards. It was just another whack at the Grove's wilting night life.

There's also the matter of CocoWalk, a giant slice of suburban mall plopped in the middle of a charming and quirky village. After you shop at the Gap, CocoWalk invites you to eat at one of its fine dining establishments -- Chili's, the Cheesecake Factory, Duffy's, and Fat Tuesday.

Of course, the place still has its charms and a distinct vibe. Just a couple years ago, it took home a passel of Best of Miami awards including the Sandbar Sports Grill for Best Happy Hour, Villa Mayfair for Best Ladies Night and -- who'd have guessed -- best psychic and body piercing.

But it'll take more than a name change and those winners to bring back the glory days.

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49 comments
Najsoj Osnola
Najsoj Osnola

just like south beach...i avoid that place like the black plague

Mercy Suarez
Mercy Suarez

Don't care what you call it...the days of Maya Hatcha and Baja Beach Club are long gone...glad I got to experience them...

Bridget Doyle
Bridget Doyle

No ones gonna refer to it as whateverthelongernewname is. So. Why...?

paolai
paolai

Sorry.. Your article falls short of information and is completely unrelated to the title. 

I miss the Grove though. 

Dianne Wells
Dianne Wells

It was so awesome in the 80's & 90's. We had many fun Friday or Saturday nights there. I still miss Biscayne Baby's.

Greg Sorcsek
Greg Sorcsek

Another example that confirms the fact that idiocy rages on!

Eileen Pollack Brennan
Eileen Pollack Brennan

Bring back twenty seven birds! I Ching. Pants with no sides. Never mind. Cocoanut Grove by any other name would get just as carelessly developed.

David H Dennis
David H Dennis

I'm confused from the article ... what are they actually trying to change the name to?

Patrice McDaniel
Patrice McDaniel

I've been just calling it "the grove" since the late '80s. Who are these people? That's just weird.

Sean O'Hanlon
Sean O'Hanlon

Some people already think we're a Banana Republic. Let's not reinforce the idea.

Karen Reep
Karen Reep

I miss the Grove. Many, many memories!

Jane Hart
Jane Hart

Grew up in the Grove during the 70's and 80's...Parents had an amazing, unique home there until 2010. This is really pathetic. I doubt this "name change" will do anything but further damage to the image of what was once a charming, bohemian and beautiful community. Sad.

Tom Morris
Tom Morris

Very pathetic. They're just trying this so when they rebuild the whole place as nothing but national chain retail stores (see also: Lincoln Road) it'll still have a fancy name to get people's hopes up that there's actually something different there

Paul Lamana
Paul Lamana

Desperate move to try to keep the hip crowd from going north to downtown/midtown/sob. The Grove misplayed their hand by not reinventing the grove scene 3 years ago when everyone saw this coming.

Mike Worley
Mike Worley

Coconut grove wants to change its image to attract the kind of young people that are flocking to downtown/wynwood/midtown/the beach. The problem though is simple: young people can't afford to live in the Grove. A name change isn't going to lower the rent (unless the rebranding effort tanks the local economy... so, perhaps).

ccampria1
ccampria1

Was just at the Grove this past weekend and it's pretty dead...a large number of the storefronts are empty.  It was a Saturday and the restaurants were empty or nearly empty.  The good old days of the Grove are long gone...

Adam Pollack
Adam Pollack

If you know about coconut grove then you are allowed to speak about it

George Hoover
George Hoover

Here's a guy who USED one of the aforementioned clubs to do one of his Campaign Funding events and then turned right around and had the club shut at 2am (the club had operated till 5am since its existence). That's a mighty fine way to say thank you, NOT! No good deed goes unpunished over in the "Shitty Of Miami"…and the punishment continues unabated until this very day!

alex692
alex692

Sad, Sad, Sad I loved the Grove but this idiot Commissioner Marc Sarnoff is just that an idiot!! Get out of here you have done enough damage


Vanessa Rabade
Vanessa Rabade

Michelle Francesca Usatorres thought you might want to share with Cristina and the rest of the office lol!

klgordon68
klgordon68

It's tragic what has happened to the Grove. Every bit of character is being wiped out. 

Jose Antonio Navarro
Jose Antonio Navarro

"The Grove" would have been a million times better. I guess they are trying to attract an "ironic" hipster crowd with that abortion of a name.

Kathryn Carey
Kathryn Carey

That's ONE of the problems with South Florida.... no respect for tradition... There is reapect and history to the name Coconut Grove...

j.pollo
j.pollo

I remember when the police would set up a command center in the parking lot of the convenience store on Grand near Commodore Plaza, and would do their darnedest to discourage cruising, going as far as issuing citations for passing the same spot 3 times. No-turn signs were erected and the traffic flow was changed. I would say their tactic worked. Now you want people to come back? A certain sense of poetic justice hangs in the air.

Millie Santana
Millie Santana

Wicked pathetic! The golden years of the Grove are gone, they moved to midtown.

Barlow Izzy
Barlow Izzy

For once I agree with an article from the New Times lol

Mabel Saborido
Mabel Saborido

Nearby Republic? What is it supposed to mean? Pretty pathetic .

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

Coconut Grove is always going for some kind of "cool" status. Cool HAPPENS. You can't "go for it", it doesn't work that way.

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

Branding the Grove as "The Nearby Republic of Coconut Grove"is a name change?  I could have sworn that was just a rebranding as you stated in the article.


Oh yea, it should be "led the charge."

George Hoover
George Hoover

Sarnoff is pathetic! He thinks the name change will undo ALL the damage he's already done to CG because he's a pompous phony! Bye Bye Burn Notice Thanks Marc! Clubs with 5am licenses shuttered at 2am, thanks Marc. What other bright ideas will he unfold upon the poor peeps of this once bohemian barrio. Just vote No more Sarnoff and leave CG's name the F alone!

Dai Mercedes
Dai Mercedes

This is my hood, yo! I wouldn't change it for the world but this name change is wack.

AlotTsum
AlotTsum

Mike Worley,


My wife and I fall into the category of "young people" (we are in our 30s) of which you speak. We are virtually priced out of this place and we are looking else where. But lets be honest, most people are priced out of downtown, wynwood, midtown and the beach also. Miami is a very expensive place to live. I'm from NYC originally and I can tell you, Miami has NYC prices (if you live in the city core) yet it doesn't pay the same rates jobs in NYC pays. very frustrating to say the least. We are considering bidding Miami farewall, this place is out of control.

DavidDennis
DavidDennis

@AlotTsum  I'm looking for a place to live in Miami myself, and the fact that North Coral Gables looks like a reasonably priced place after seeing prices in mainstream Miami probably says all  you need to hear ... I hear a rumor that if you call the police in Coral Gables, they actually (hard as this is to believe) show up!


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