Ad Lib Is Closing After Less Than a Year

Ad Lib barely lasted a year.
Ad Lib barely lasted a year.
Photo courtesy of Ad Lib
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After less than a year in operation, Ad Lib will close its doors after dinner service tomorrow, October 18.

In a statement, John Kunkel, founder and CEO of 50 Eggs Hospitality Group, plans to turn the space on Ponce de Leon Boulevard into a multi-use establishment. "We are evolving, and after a brief closure, we're looking forward to introducing a specialized venue for new restaurant development and private events within the space next year."

In its brief history, Ad Lib saw many changes.

At the space formerly occupied by Swine Southern Table & Bar, the restaurant opened this past February with a power duo in place. Jamie DeRosa (Tongue & Cheek, Izzy's) helmed the kitchen while Miami's favorite pastry chef, Hedy Goldsmith, nationally acclaimed for her work with Michael Schwartz, marked her return from California. Two months after Ad Lib's debut, DeRosa resigned.

In May, venerable chef Norman Van Aken was tasked with creating dishes for Ad Lib. The 1997 James Beard Award winner, known for his New World cuisine, brought his years of experience to the table, and with Goldsmith turning out fine desserts, it seemed like a match made in heaven.

In a review, New Times' Zachary Fagenson said Van Aken's New World cuisine would "continue to surprise the world" and that Goldsmith's pastries were "somehow still dazzlingly fun while also fitting for this more refined mold."

Nevertheless, in July, Goldsmith parted ways with Ad Lib. Van Aken followed, severing ties with the Coral Gables restaurant in August.

In a statement, 50 Eggs said Van Aken was brought on in a consulting capacity and to help new kitchen staffers transition into their roles.

50 Eggs continues to move forward in the Miami restaurant scene with Chica. The restaurant, a partnership with celebrity chef Lorena Garcia, is set to open late fall in the former Soyka space.

Ad Lib. 2415 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305-504-8895; adlibgables.com.

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