The bar opened back in 2013 in the tony South of Fifth neighborhood and quickly became a go-to spot for both well-heeled residents of nearby condos and tourists — all drawn to its large wine selection, tapas menu, and welcoming outdoor patio.
According to Nick Di Donato, CEO of Liberty Entertainment Group, the Toronto-based company that owns Cibo, the closure was sudden and unexpected. "I could not reach a reasonable agreement with the landlord on rent, and with all the restrictions in the South of Fifth area with respect to access and activities, it [Cibo South Beach] was no longer viable," he says.
Di Donato explains that ongoing road construction on the MacArthur Causeway has hindered access to South Beach. The project started in July 2018 and is expected to be completed by July 2020.
The hospitality executive also cites the city's prohibition of anything other than ambient music in the restaurant's patio area, making it essentially impossible to host private events.
Di Donato says the Coral Gables flagship continues to thrive. "We will focus on Coral Gables and grow the brand in areas which are accessible." No further information on any new locations has been announced.
Liberty Entertainment Group owns multiple Cibo locations in Toronto and continues to grow. The company opened its nightclub, Arcane, in the Ontario capital this past weekend and Xango, in partnership with Canadian celebrity chef Claudio Aprile, is due to open this summer. Liberty also operates Casa Loma, a historical city-owned landmark in Toronto.
Cibo Wine Bar. 200 S. Pointe Dr., Miami Beach; 305-987-6060; cibowinebar.com.