"I didn't want to change it," Isaac Starkman told me a few years back when asked about his strategy for renovating Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House. "I wanted to perpetuate it." And for good reason, as during one thirteen-year period alone the landmark delicatessen in Sunny Isles Beach dished and knished more than 41 million meals (seven million involving corned beef). Plus there was the rich history to consider -- Clark Gable, Meyer Lansky, First Place in New Times' "Flapjack Flip-Off Four"....
Now comes news that Ike and his son Jayson have sold out, and Rascal House will be closing to make room for a mixed-use project. It is the last nail in the coffin of Sunny Isles Beach as we have known it.
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The town's mayor, Norman Edelcup, boasts that he and the City Commissioners are "creating a new, luxurious Sunny Isles Beach" -- referring, no doubt, to the erection of grotesque, Babel-esque towers such as LeMeridien, Acqualina, and Trump International Sonesta Beach Resort. That the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau is setting up shop in the shadows of this ostentatious canyon just cements the suspicion that they are making a Greater Miami for the wealthy at the expense of those of us who live here. Using our tax dollars to do so, of course.
So shame on you, Ike and Jayson Starkman. And screw you, Whoreman Norman, Sunny Isles Beach Commissioners, and Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. Goodbye pastrami sandwiches, stuffed cabbages, matzoh ball soups, blintzes, babkas, bountiful bowls of breads and pickles on the tables...
And farewell to all remnants of history, charm, and soul in gentrified, uglified Money Isles -- er, Sunny Isles Beach. -Lee Klein