Early Monday morning, both Key Biscayne and City of Miami Fire Rescue responded to a call that Oasis Café was in flames. The damage was extensive. Key Biscayne Fire Chief Eric Lang gave a dollar figure between $80,000 and $100,000 of repairs needed.
There was one stroke of luck, however. The Key Biscayne hot spot was being remodeled to take over an adjacent space as an extension of the popular eatery. That addition was not damaged in the fire.
Now, just one day after the fire, Oasis Café is reopening today at 8 a.m. Carlos Flores, CEO of Ogroup, and his team have been working diligently to open the newly renovated space next door, saying, "We are doing everything we can to open as soon as possible and serve our community." Flores vows to do everything to reopen the iconic original Oasis space too.
Flores says he was woken up by Key Biscayne Fire Rescue at 1:23 a.m. this past Monday. "I got a call from the fire department telling me there had been a fire and that I needed to go to the restaurant. We don't have a lot of information about the fire itself. We are waiting for the fire department to finish conducting its investigation so we can get the facts straight."
The restaurant executive, whose Ogroup also owns Las Olas Café in Miami Beach, Palmas Café in Brickell, and Lagos Café in Doral, says his his initial reaction to the call was concern over whether anyone was hurt in the blaze. "I was really confused at first, and then my first thought was, Are there any injuries? When I got to the café, I was relieved to see the that fire department had contained the fire quickly so that there was no further damage to the village."
Now thoughts have turned to serving the community of Key Biscayne. "We're excited to open the renovated space, and we'll focus all of our efforts on rebuilding the damaged building," Flores says.
Oasis Café has long been a center of Key Biscayne community life. Since the fire, locals have been expressing love and loss on Facebook. Flores says the key to the café's success lies in its people. "I think that our staff is what makes Oasis so iconic for the community. Also, it's been around for 40 years, and different generations all have their unique stories and experiences with us, especially with our ventanita, the window where people come and not only order their empanadas and cortaditos, but also catch up with the staff. Everyone is treated like family here. It doesn’t matter if it's your first time here or 30th time here. You will always get a '¡Hola, amorcito! ¿Cafecito?'"
Flores also has a message to his customers and the people who answered the call in the middle of the night. "We want to thank the community for their messages of solidarity, and we also want to acknowledge the professionalism of Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal Osorio, Fire Chief Lang, and the Village Council of Key Biscayne."