Shuckers Deck Collapse: No More Waterfront Restaurants?

Categories: Musings, News

Thumbnail image for shuckersabcnews.jpg
ABC News
Deck collapse at Shuckers Bar and Grill.
What started out as a fun evening with friends took a tragic turn when the waterfront deck at Shuckers Bar & Grill in North Bay Village collapsed during the Miami Heat game, sending about 100 people tumbling into the water.

As cheers for the home team turned into screams, restaurant workers and patrons alike jumped into the water to rescue the people scrambling in the bay in the minutes before first responders arrived. In total, more than two dozen people were injured, two seriously.

See also: Shuckers Deck Collapses Into Biscayne Bay: Two Dozen Injured

While there were no fatalities, no one will soon forget the shocking images of people floundering in the dark in Biscayne Bay or the aftermath -- a collapsed structure and debris slowly being claimed by Miami's crystal clear waters.

This incident poses another question for Miami government, business owners, residents, and tourists alike. After the dust settles on this accident, what will be the fate of waterfront restaurants in South Florida? Though the area has miles of waterfront land, there are actually few restaurants directly on them. Of the few that are blessed with prime vistas, many of those restaurants boast large wooden patio decks that stretch over the bay -- like Shuckers.

Though it's too soon to tell why the restaurant's deck collapsed, the incident itself could lead to more stringent building codes, higher insurance rates, or a complete moratorium on restaurants building new decks. Though thorough inspections of existing decks would be a wise decision, increased insurance rates (or a complete rebuild of current decks) could cost restaurants millions of dollars.

Though catering mostly to home deck owners, the North American Deck and Railing Association, which has proclaimed May "deck safety month", states that deck failures can be avoided with "regular maintenance and inspection and knowing the limits of the deck structure."

According to the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, 13.9 million people visited Miami-Dade in 2012, with about 75 percent of them vacationing in our city and on our beaches. The GMCVB also surveys visitors to Miami at airports and shopping centers. When asked what they liked about our city, 25% of responders mentioned our restaurants and dining. Although there are no specific figures regarding whether these people dined outdoors, it's fair to say that most out-of-towners come to enjoy our sub-tropical climate and gorgeous waterfront setting.

For locals, one of the finest things about living in Miami is meeting friends for a few beers and some fish dip on the water as boats and pelicans drift by. Let's hope that this terrible incident serves as a wake-up call for restaurants to have scheduled deck and dock inspections and maintenance -- but doesn't cause municipalities and insurers to panic and put an end to outdoor dining altogether.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

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Location Info

Shuckers Bar & Grill

1819 79th Str Causeway, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music

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24 comments
Jim Myer
Jim Myer

Well cant believe I was there 3 weeks ago sitting with all my friends right in the middle of the deck. Then one of my friends was there when it happened and was sitting only 4 feet from the ledge watching the game but, wow crazy things happen. Doubt if they open again

mark1282
mark1282

Just go to the Blue Martini.....

Tony Miller
Tony Miller

*should. And *than. Sorry I edit as well as the Times.

Tony Miller
Tony Miller

Shit happens. We always need a reason. We always need somebody to blame. I blame LeBron James for bringing his talents to Miami. He sucks have stayed in Cleveland. That's no more ridiculous a statement then the article itself.

hstergo
hstergo

Lets see how the blame Bush on this 

James G. Camp
James G. Camp

Where was that bridge that collapsed ? Washington state somewhere ? Guess there will be no more bridges ?

Annhy Shim-Morel
Annhy Shim-Morel

Ah Miami- always going to extremes on the absolutely wrong issues and problems. Meanwhile back in Overtown...

jgcamp99
jgcamp99

No effect, insurance pays this off and people move on. The losers will try to make it a lifetime payout, but for the most part it's no big deal ?

Kon Janco
Kon Janco

Deck/porch building regulations will prob start to resemble Chicago's porch regulation after Chicago had a porch collapse that killed people in early 2000s.

CacaDoodoo
CacaDoodoo

"Crystal Clear Waters?" Where are you from that you think Biscayne Bay water is anything near clear


Marlene Morfi
Marlene Morfi

I think it is sad when we live in a city where all you think about is who will you sue next? Accidents happen all the time. I agree if the deck was not safe to begin with okay- but if you have 100+ drunk people jumping on the darn thing- stuff happens!! They should have had a capacity limit, maybe a worker making sure a certain amount of ppl not let in, etc. In Mardi Gras on the balconies they make sure not to have too many ppl on them so they don't break...same thing applies here. Of course ppl will sue but they also should have used better judgement. Glad no one died and hope to see the place open again really soon!

Joseph F. Carney III
Joseph F. Carney III

Totally the business' fault, they should be checking on the structuires of things like this, i was on that deck over twenty years ago, on the water facing east, what idiot thinks it will last forever, then 100+ Drunk Jocks Jumping around...jesus..what did you expect, maybe the patrons should think about where they party as well...Is It Really Safe ?? seems the same ole No MYe Yob in S. Fla...

Alexander Fernandez
Alexander Fernandez

Somebody drowned last week, what is the fate of south Florida beaches?

Vince Witty
Vince Witty

Nobody is even talking about this why are you guys posting it as if its possible. Its one deck that was not properly maintained and watched.

SEEYAA
SEEYAA

Go patch your trailer you dumb ole Hick.

murdermysterymiami
murdermysterymiami

@Vince Witty True. But are there codes and laws regarding deck maintenance?  If not -- will there be (and should there be)?  And -- like after hurricane Andrew -- will building codes change drastically after this?

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