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Van Dyke Cafe to Close

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Van Dyke Cafe via Facebook
Van Dyke Café is closing. Coming soon: some crappy store.
It's the loveliest and most photographed café on Lincoln Road and probably the place associated most with the iconic pedestrian mall in South Beach. Visitors from all over the world recognize the red awnings and ivy-covered walls from pictures and paintings. And locals flock to it for Sunday brunch or live jazz.

It's the Van Dyke Café. And it's closing its doors, probably by the end of January.

Since 1994, this indoor/outdoor café, housed in the historic Van Dyke building, has been a mecca for people to drink mimosas or martinis, people-watch, or just enjoy a shady spot with friends or their dog.

In a town that supposedly never sleeps, try getting some food after 11 p.m. Van Dyke is one of the few spots on Lincoln Road that serves until the wee hours. And it's the only place to hear live music nightly.

It's probably no coincidence that the restaurant, situated practically in the center of Lincoln Road, is considered by many to be its heart. Who in Miami doesn't have memories of kissing or laughing at one of its tables? Or sipping a drink while moving to live music in the upstairs lounge?

When I moved to Miami Beach, Hurricane Katrina hit. Then Wilma. Both times, my husband and I spent part of the storm or the aftermath sipping wine at the Van Dyke. When everything else was shut tight, this café was a port in the storm.

Now, after dozens of threats and whispers, its closing is imminent. Graspa Group, owner of the Van Dyke, among other local restaurants such as Tiramesu, Spris, Salumeria 104, and Segafredo, was given notice late last week. A rep for Graspa Group tells us that details are still being worked out -- such as a definitive closing date or whether Van Dyke will relocate to another spot on Lincoln Road or elsewhere. Employees of the café were told they still had a job through the end of January, possibly longer.

What's even more breathtakingly sad is the fact that the Van Dyke will be replaced by a soulless retail chain. Rumors are swirling that Abercrombie & Fitch or Lululemon will step in. You know them, don't you? They're the douchey retailers that don't carry sizes larger than 12 (though that might change after backlash from very pissed-off shoppers).

It's a safe bet that neither will play live jazz. And you can't eat $98 yoga pants.

Congratulations, Lincoln Road. You're officially 85 percent on the way to being a homogenized, generic strip mall.

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.

Follow Short Order on Facebook, Twitter @Short_Order, and Instagram @ShortOrder.

Location Info

Van Dyke Cafe - CLOSED

846 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music


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198 comments
michaalem
michaalem

This is why Miami is beginning to SUCK!!!!!

Alberto Cabrera
Alberto Cabrera

Horrible! This was one of the few places in Miami where you can hear real jazz by incredible musicians. Miami you never seize to dissapoint me. Go ultrafest! F****** Crackheads!

Eddie Carreras
Eddie Carreras

I was there last Sept and I did hear that it would close

Anastasia Biltmore
Anastasia Biltmore

Aww, BOO HISS!!!!!! Van Dyke was a quaint bastion of old european civility and the upstairs space has hosted some performance greats. So sad to see it go. Rising rents????

DarrLing Nikkii
DarrLing Nikkii

Nooooooo :( it's been my favorite place on Lincoln rd..

Lynne Nacherlilla
Lynne Nacherlilla

That sucks! One if the nicest places around...and the food is good!

Stacie Jardine
Stacie Jardine

Not good at all. Lincoln road is not suppose to be generic anything...

Bobby Fisher
Bobby Fisher

i love this place so sad to see it closing

Abby Goldstein Feilich
Abby Goldstein Feilich

Bobby Fisher, when we go to SB that's where we usually eat. I didn't know this :(

Ofelia Barber
Ofelia Barber

I can't believe the Van Dyke Café is closing... It's a SoBe icon! It makes me sad...

Bobby Fisher
Bobby Fisher

very sad to see this some great times and great food there

jpbello
jpbello

VanDyke opened at the end of the era for which it was created in my opinion. From 1994 thru 1997 South Beach went through a transformation from once what I thought to be a Lovely Bohemia toward what it is today as a Main Stream tourist destination suted for the masses. The fact that Van Dyke Lasted this long and I might note: it has been on the chopping block several times in the past is truly amazing. For me every time I pass the Van Dyke it harkens days of old.....News Cafe and Grilled Fish maybe are one of the last hold outs from woundeful era gone by.  

tonyoliver76
tonyoliver76

Hello I'm legendary waiter Tony O. Somewhere in my early twenties when I was new to Miami Beach and looking for that special niche however it came. Fortunately for me it came as the Van Dyke Cafe. The staff and those linked to the cafe became family and friends. And I'm honored to say many of them still are. I had good, bad, exciting and blah times there. I went on countless dates, met famous and not so famous people, saw 9/11, made an ass out of myself more times than would like to remember. And I did it at that wonderful cafe. The fabulous building will still be there. A sad reminder of the last true piece of class and sophistication on Lincoln Rd. Thank you Van Dyke Cafe you have made me a very happy man.

Mary Ceccarelli
Mary Ceccarelli

That SUCKS!!! I use to go there all the time. Great jazz and memories...

Cal Calhoun
Cal Calhoun

So sad to here this!! LR is changing, but for the worst! All the unique shops are GONE!!!

Jessie Jess
Jessie Jess

Van dyke USED to be good the food is terrible now!

Nelly Diaz
Nelly Diaz

Maria Torres va a cerrraaarr.. ni fuimos :/

wtlmovement
wtlmovement

Pathetic at best. the Jazz up there is the ounce of class in a pool of sleaze on the beach. This is so lame, and a big hit culturally and historically. They Better not replace with A&F. theyll wish they hadnt. sick. 

Victor Runciman
Victor Runciman

Van Dyke has HORRIBLE DRINKS! but the restaurant itself shouldn't become a casualty.

Suzanne Oostdyk
Suzanne Oostdyk

That's why we all go to Midtown/design district now. ))

Vivi Tous
Vivi Tous

Nooo!! Itsa Miami must!! Specially jazz club upstairs!! :((

Heather Apostle
Heather Apostle

I know. .. I know. .. but I still think of you !! Good memories of the 1990s

Heather Apostle
Heather Apostle

Mayte Arguello-Savon, Rafael Faria, James Cunningham, Suzanne Oostdyk, did you see this bullshit ? Rip

Rick Löwenherz
Rick Löwenherz

My office occupied the top floor in 2010. In going to miss it.

WhyNotNow
WhyNotNow topcommenter

If they are smart, the owners will truck it all to overtown, the only place left to go. (it's alright, you can call it wynwood.) buy themselves a cheap place and they'll never have to move again. Seasalt and pepper has done it and a few more. You have to stay ahead of the game and that is where the game is moving. Do you hear me PAX? Do you hear me comedy club? Otown is calling.

DavidDennis
DavidDennis

@WhyNotNow I'm already seeing the graffiti art walls migrating down from Wynwood to Overtown ... so Overtown residents are already thinking the same thing.  

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