Kris Wessel's Oolite Closes in South Beach, Eviction Pending

Sadly, this dish is no more.
Sadly, this dish is no more.
Bill Wisser

Oolite is no more. The year-old South Beach restaurant at 1661 Pennsylvania Ave., which has achieved great things since it opened last year, owes the city more than $446,000 on its $61,000 monthly rent, according to a letter dated April 28 to the Miami Beach City Commission from its lawyer, Raul Aguila.

The kitchen closed Friday, though the bar continues to operate. 

New Times named Oolite Best Restaurant in South Beach last month, and named it Best New Restaurant

The restaurant and its previous tenant, Cooper Avenue, have been sparring over rent on the site for years, according to the letter from the city attorney. "The Lease has been amended three times, including various rent abatements and rent deferrals."

But checks bounced, and no agreement could be reached on payment. The restaurant offered gluten-free food that reviewers called superior. Last August, New Times food critic Zachary Fagenson wrote, "It's a big bet on a huge space by an established chef in the midst of a rough run. Entrepreneur Roman Cherstvov hired chef partner Kris Wessel and took over the restaurant's lease from Gigi owner Amir Ben-Zion, who for a short while ran the space as Cooper Avenue."

A message left for Wessel, who previously was forced to close the popular Red Light Little River on Biscayne Boulevard, was not returned. The story was first reported in, which said a hearing on the eviction is scheduled for August 14.

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