Chef Allen Susser says he'll close the doors to the Aventura eatery that bears his name. The restaurant has been in operation since 1986.
"Twenty-five years has passed, the lease was up, and it was time to make a decision," says Susser, who is 54 years old and lives in Hollywood. "Don't be distressed. Just think of the 25 years of celebration."
Susser is best known for being part of the Mango Gang -- the group of South Florida chefs that in the late '80s and early '90s brought national attention to the local culinary scene.
The restaurant in Aventura has long been among the best known in the nation. In 1994, Susser won the Best Chef award from the James Beard Foundation, which offers a $1,500 college scholarship in his name. Susser also earned Best Restaurant Comeback from Miami New Times in 2009 after he refurbished the dining room.
In the near future, Susser says, he will consult, help in restaurant development, and teach. For the past three years, he has been advising Jade Mountain in St. Lucia, one of the world's top restaurants. He also assisted with the startup of the Miami Culinary Institute and has taught classes at Florida International University.
He will continue to operate several locations of Chef Allen's to Go and Burger Bar by Chef Allen's at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. "I'm still very ingrained in the community," he says.
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Miami Herald restaurant critic Victoria
Pesce Elliot announced the news today via Twitter. "Tell Victoria to stop tweeting and give me a call," Susser says.