Five Bids in for Scotty's Landing Replacement: More Burgers, Less Charm

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It looks like the plan to kill Scotty's Landing is going forward. In fact, unlike so many of Miami's snail-paced ventures, the plans to replace Scotty's, Grove Key Marina, and Chart House are steamrolling ahead.

A few days ago, five bids were presented to a special selection committee to weigh the merits of the proposals that answered the city's RFP# 11-12024 (Indoor/Outdoor Restaurant) and RFP# 11-12-025 (Marina/Outdoor Casual Restaurant). Both RFP's concerned the city-owned properties located at 51 Chart House Dr. and 3385 Pan American Dr.

According to the Miami Herald, city officials "ushered reporters and the public out of the meeting room before the pitches began. Moreover, Judy Marsie-Hazen, an employee of the public facilities department, snatched from a Herald reporter's hands bid documents that had mistakenly been distributed at the beginning of the meeting."

I called City Manager Johnny Martinez twice today, and apparently Mr. Martinez has neither an assistant nor voicemail. His phone kept on ringing and ringing. A message left for Ron Nelson, chief of staff at Commissioner Marc Sarnoff's office, has yet to be returned either. I did, however, receive a list of the bidders -- all of which offer more or less similar concepts for beautiful cafés and upscale waterfront bistros. 
Most bidders are LLCs set up for the sole purpose of bidding on the RFPs, and proposals include plans for a marina, a tiki hut that serves ceviche, a sidewalk café in an airplane hangar named Fleat Street, and an outdoor eatery called Clipper's that serves burgers and fish to replace Scotty's Landing (which serves burgers and fish). Landry, the owner of Chart House, proposed a seafood restaurant with yacht-club style to replace the current seafood restaurant with yacht-club style.

It seems like only Scott Wessel, the owner of Grove Key Marina and Scotty's Landing, sees value in improving the waterfront without changing it into another unneeded "gorgeous" eyesore. His bid for an upgraded eatery and renovated marina can possibly make locals, who see Scotty's Landing as a Coconut Grove icon, happy instead of frustrated.

As it stands now, they're looking to replace Scotty's Landing, a beloved waterfront burger joint that makes dogs and people happy, with a newer burger joint. And they're looking to replace Chart House, a pretty if somewhat soulless place to spend anniversaries and Mother's Day, with another lovely yet generic restaurant. Doesn't sound like a winning plan.

I'm not surprised this is happening. But I am saddened. How many times have I met friends at Scotty's Landing for some fish dip and a beer? Why is the place so lovable? It could be the killer view of the marina, the cold brew served in mugs, the friendly conversation by tourists and locals alike, the bands playing under a giant tree, or the joint's character. It's comfortable. Yes, it's a little shabby. But who wants to put on heels or slacks just to grab a beer? 

I love Scotty's Landing, and I'll try to be there tomorrow at the public meeting to hear the special committee give its recommendations to City Manager Johnny Martinez. It'll take place at the MDC City Managers Office (444 SW Second Ave.) in the first floor cafeteria. The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. I encourage everyone concerned to attend. Then, because tomorrow is Friday, let's all meet for a beer at Scotty's Landing.

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Location Info

Scotty's Landing

3381 Pan American Drive, Coconut Grove, FL

Category: Restaurant


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6 comments
marlow
marlow

I remember when capt dicks was there. We would come in from fishing and get a cold beer and burger. We were covered in fish blood and smell. They didn't care. We would stop at sundays key biscayne but not alowed. Due to our dress code. Covered in fish guts and smelled . Now dicks is gone and scott has keep up the tradition for the locals and boaters. Its a fun place and everbody is always happy

Mcclean
Mcclean

Secure ? Cmon. Miami peeps love Scotty's. Why won't any of those sushi nibbling City Manager types ever understand that there's more to life than just sickening greed. " Oh we have a financial obligation to the tax payers..." yappity yap scap. You know theyre just going to line their pockets again and we'll all end up eating expensive, fake sysco food.

Dip and drip
Dip and drip

The world's a hurtin' place these days, Perch, and it's all because of the lack of cash flow. If you want schools and police, you need cash flow. I hope Scotty's finds a way to make it work.

Perch
Perch

Yeah right Dip and drip, it's all about cash flow. Just another example of bean counters at their finest. Say good bye to one of Miami's few remaining landmarks.

Dip and drip
Dip and drip

Upon the expiration of any lease to private enterprise, the City as landlord owes its taxpayers to test the best possible, secure financial return on that property.  Scotty's is a great place that we all enjoy, but it needs to step up to meet competitors that are deemed capable of living up to their respective proposals. Their proven history should weigh in their favor, but the money needs to be there as well. I wish them success, as I love stopping in there from time to time.

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