Wynwood's Gramps is expanding to a location on the Miami River.
Owner Adam Gersten received approval by the Miami River Commission Monday to begin building a two-story bar and restaurant at the 5th Street Marina. A ground-breaking date has not yet been announced.
Gersten describes the new space as everything Gramps now offers but with a larger kitchen. The restaurant and bar will offer outdoor space on the river, a main bar, and an upstairs room that can double as an intimate event space for 50 to 75 people, though Gersten has a specific vision for that room. "I'm seeing it more of a mariners' lounge. I think of the Chart Room in Key West, a cool little second room."
Gramps by the Sea will also offer onsite parking and an area serving juice, coffee, and light bites early in the morning for people walking by the river and on their way to work. The Miami River location likely won't be open as late as the flagship. According to the Real Deal, terms of the approval include no loud music after 11 p.m.
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The bar's genesis came about after Gersten had a conversation with his business partner, who owns the land, about a year after they opened Gramps in Wynwood. The Miami River bar had been on the back burner since Gersten purchased a property in Little Haiti and decided to open a location there. He expects to open Gramps by the Sea in 2019 and the Little Haiti location debuting sometime next year. "That's more of a basic bar situation," Gersten says of the latter.
The Miami River spot will be a tiny part of a massive working marina and waterfront complex that's been in the same family for about a century, Gersten says. "Both the owner and I are fourth- or fifth-generation Miamians, and his family has always used it as a marina and fish house."
When it opens, Gramps by the Sea will offer the neighborhood an affordable place to grab a few drinks in a convivial atmosphere. Says Gersten: "If you look at most of the permanent places along the river other than, say, Garcia's, most everything is hoity-toity. Gramps will be different. It reminds me of the movie Caddyshack. It's the snobs versus the slobs, and I'm Al Czervik."
Gramps by the Sea. 341 NW S. River Dr., Miami; gramps.com. Opening 2019.