Scotty's Landing: Five Reasons to Save It
The City of Miami, which currently owns Grove Key Marina and the iconic dive bar/restaurant, is seeking bids for a 40-year lease to replace the slightly shabby waterfront with a multi-use space to include a brand-spanking-new marina and restaurant. Though Scotty's operator Scott Wessel (who also manages the marina) has put in a bid for the space, he's likely to compete with major corporations seeking prime Miami waterfront for their chain restaurants and shops. True, Scotty's Landing is no beauty, but it deserves to be saved. Here are five reasons why:
5. Miami Has Enough Multi-Use Entertainment Complexes
How many of you have been to Cocowalk, the Shops at Sunset Place, or Bayside Marketplace lately? These lifestyle and entertainment complexes are fairly new, totally gorgeous -- and filled with vacant storefronts. The tenants that survive are large corporate chains that can afford to have loss leaders to say they have a store in Miami or Coconut Grove. But even these are leaving. Niketown recently pulled out of Sunset Place and Yogurbella closed in Cocowalk. And Bayside is filled with food court vendors and dollar stores. Instead of building a brand new waterfront mall, why not encourage small businesses to fill up the vacant spaces at these already-standing centers?
4. Revere the Dive Bar
Haven't we learned anything from Travel Channel and Food Network? People love dive bars and restaurants just as much as five-star, chef-driven extravaganzas. People travel to New Orleans or New York to explore the dive bar scene in a city. When I travel somewhere, I rarely get locals saying, "ooh you simply must try the Dom at Chateau Fifi." They tell me where to get a good drink at a dark, stanky bar that also makes a decent burger..or fish dip... or oysters. Because that's where most of us have memories of dear friends and good times. We may celebrate our birthday every year at Azul, but we celebrate the end of the work week every Friday at Scotty's.
3. Kid... And Grandma... And Dog Friendly
I have dinner at Scotty's frequently. My husband and I will pack up our mutt Harry and take him for a walk. We pass the sign welcoming well behaved dogs. Harry knows the way and picks up the pace the minute we head for the marina, the salt air filling his nostrils. We come for the beer. Harry comes for the fish dip. As we park ourselves at one of the white plastic tables, I look around. There's not one time that I don't see a melange of tables filled with multi-generational families, groups of co-workers, and people with their hounds (most of them jaunty in bandanas). Everyone's welcome here. The menu isn't farm-to-table, but it's accessible to everyone. Burgers, fish sandwiches, fritters. Oh, and Harry's dip. So my terrier prefers fish dip to a piece of delicately seared ahi. Guess what? So do I!
2. What's Wrong With a Little Nostalgia?
Back in the 1970's South Beach was considered a dilapidated, disgusting wasteland filled with ugly ramshackle old buildings, drug addicts, and the elderly. "Tear it down and put up condos!" was the war cry of developers who saw dollar signs in their eyes. But Barbara Capitman saw the potential in these dive-y, broken down old structures. In 1976 she formed the Miami Design Preservation League and led a drive to save these ugly eyesores. By the way, people come from around the world to see these nasty old structures. It's called Deco Drive now and it's one of the most iconic neighborhoods in the world. I'm not saying that Scotty's Landing is as pretty as, say, the Park Central Hotel on Ocean Drive in South Beach. But I am saying that what's old and ugly to some...is beautiful and nostalgic to others. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think Scotty's is beautiful.
1. Music With A Killer View On The Cheap
Quick! Name five places where you can listen to good live music (and no, a DJ does not constitute live music) without a cover charge in Miami? Now name five places where you can listen to good live music and get a really good cheap drink? OK, now name five places where you can listen to good live music without a cover, cheap drink in hand -- while taking in the moonlight playing over Biscayne Bay. Bet you could only name one! Look guys, Jimbo's is gone! The Rusty Pelican has gentrified itself. Monty's plays Yellowbird over and over and over again for the tourists who think they're already on their Carnival cruise. Tobacco Road has no view! Scotty's Landing might very well be the only place left in Miami to listen to live music outside with a drink!
|Killer view. Live music. Cheap beer. Fish dip. Dogs. Come on, guys!|
Save Scotty's Landing!
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