Piola South Beach is the latest casualty in the transition of Lincoln Road from local hangout to
The restaurant, located around the corner from Lincoln Road at 1625 Alton Rd. closes tonight after a
Tonight, the pizzeria, part of a small chain founded in 1986 in Treviso, Italy, with about 40 stores throughout the world, dies. And, like all things that come to an end, there's a funeral planned — complete with coffin and complimentary food and drinks.
"We're inviting everyone from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight for a party. At 6 p.m., a black SUV will pull up with a coffin, just like an actual funeral. We're inviting friends of the restaurant to throw in a note or a remembrance as a goodbye to the old Piola."
Stefanova says the idea behind holding a funeral was twofold. It was a way for long-time customers to say
Piola in happier times.
Courtesy of Piola
The other reason to hold a funeral is to mourn the loss of Lincoln Road, itself, as a place where small, local businesses once thrived, only to be replaced by large retail chains like H&M and the Gap. As Stefanova remarked, "I couldn't believe when Van Dyke Cafe closed and was replaced by Lululemon. This is the heart and soul of Miami Beach and now it's turning into a big commercial environment. Small shops are being pushed out, unfortunately.
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Though Piola is closing its Alton Road location, a Brickell location at 1250 South Miami Ave. remains open, along with three in Broward. There are also plans to reopen somewhere on South Beach. "We are in negotiations with several other spaces," says Stefanova.
But before the rebirth comes tonight's death. As Piola's marketing maven says, "It is sad. We're crying here. But, at the same time this could be a new beginning."