After more than a decade of burgers and late nights, the Lost & Found Saloon that straddled Wynwood and the Design District has closed.
Although the doors are locked, patio tables remain outside as if waiting for diners to drink beer and down burritos. Two women took a smoke break at the tables yesterday afternoon.
"I love all of you. My beautiful, amazing loyal customers!!!" owner Ken Bercel posted on Facebook last week when announcing the place's final days. No one from Lost & Found could be reached for more detail about the reason for the sudden shuttering, but neighborhood streets have seen closures due to construction for the past few weeks.
Bercel's business was hit hard by the Zika scare in 2016. Last summer, he complained to the Miami Herald about his dwindling clientele and having to take out a $15,000 loan to survive. "Money is coming out of our savings, our banks, our lenders, just to keep the business open right now," he told the paper.
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Lost & Found was a kind of time capsule that transported patrons to an era when Wynwood and its surrounding neighborhoods were in the embryonic stage of becoming the fast-rising behemoths they are today.
Serving "posse" tacos and crab-stuffed endive, it was a welcome respite after what was once a more subdued art walk. A Southwestern theme permeated the eatery, from the horse in its logo and sign to the "Giddy Up" happy hour that offered deals on, in its early years, a solid list of craft beers and bites such as a pulled pork burrito and Baja chicken enchilada soup that one New Times writer described as a "spicy and creamy concoction [that] is a meal on its own thanks to its chunky texture courtesy of the pieces of chicken and corn."
Though the reason for the restaurant's closing is still unknown, the speed with which the neighborhood is growing seems to be of some concern and whether it will even allow for small-business owners to establish themselves. The lone solution, of course, is to buy the land, but even that might be unaffordable these days.