Tony Goldman, Restaurateur and Entrepreneur, Dies at 68
Tony Goldman, entrepreneur, developer, restaurateur, and visionary, died yesterday of heart failure in New York City, surrounded by family. He was 68.
Goldman was a Miami visionary who, in 1985, saw potential in an old beachside town considered by most as past its prime. That town, of course, was South Beach.
At the time, the art deco hotels were run down, vacant, and boarded up. Goldman saw promise and purchased 18 properties in as many months. In 1987, he reopened the Park Central Hotel in SoBe and opened Tony's Club, Ocean Drive's first music room.
A year later, Goldman opened the area's most prestigious restaurant, Lucky's at the Park Central.
That was the beginning of Goldman's love affair with Miami and, in the years to follow, he opened numerous hotels and restaurants throughout Miami Beach, including Mathilda's Restaurant and Bar, the Riviera Kitchen and Bar with son and partner Joey in the Imperial Hotel on Ocean Drive, and the four-star Wish. His daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, is the chief operating officer of Goldman's hotel division.
In 2004, Goldman discovered the Wynwood section of Miami. Envisioning the warehouse district as an art and dining hub, much like SoHo in New York, Goldman, along with his partner/son Joey, acquired more than 25 properties in the rough-around-the-edges neighborhood.
Since then, Goldman, along with Joey and Jessica, worked diligently to build up Wynwood, with Joey's and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar some of the first restaurants in the area. Now Wynwood is a thriving hub of activity that boasts a robust dining and art scene.
The Goldman family has issued the following statement: "To the community he touched, he was a transforming, once-in-a-lifetime figure. To us, he was a devoted husband, wonderful father, and doting grandfather."
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