Archive Diver - Wet Paint Cafe on Lincoln Road Mall - Ad From 1988

Welcome to Archive Diver - Short Order Edition, where we scour past print issues of Miami New Times for interesting food related content. Today we bring you a "Wet Paint Cafe" advertisement from 1988. Back then, Lincoln Road offered a decidedly cracked-out vista. The Cafe owner's prescience to the potential of said location marks their pioneering saavy.

According to a 1987 article in Nation's Restaurant News by Marilyn Alva, The Wet Paint Cafe was opened by Bernard Matz, the current executive chef, manager, and co-owner of Books & Books Cafe Miami Beach, and Carlos Prio Jr., the son of a former President of Cuba.

A 2008 thread on the Chowhound Florida message board also links the article and there our own local food historian Frodnesor claims that Wet Paint Cafe is where recent James Beard Award nominee Chef Douglas Rodriguez got his start.

The Wet Paint Cafe also finds mention in the comments section of an Art Lurker article entitled "Remembering...Miami Before Art Basel." A commenter posting under the name Andy Whorewall incorrectly characterizes the cafe as a post mortem incarnation of an art gallery/party hole called Wet Paint House. Commenter Candy Darling corrects Andy Whorewall.

Booksandbooks.com also mentions Matz's history on The Beach, and offers to sell you his book, "Bernie's Kitchen," which is available at all their locations.

And here is a review by Victoria Pesce Elliott of the Miami Herald that also recalls some Wet Paint Cafe history.

Finally, we leave you with a scan of the three other restaurant ads that ran in the same column as the Wet Paint Cafe's that same fateful week in 1988. Leave a comment if they bring back any memories.

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