Openings

Beloved Irish Pub John Martin's Reopens in Coral Gables

Photo by Bigtime Design Studios
For three decades, John Martin's Irish Pub was the place to grab a pint of Guinness with friends in Coral Gables. The restaurant and pub, opened in 1989 by friends Martin Lynch and John Clarke, became famous for its friendly atmosphere, live music, and its annual blowout St. Patrick's Day celebrations.

Unfortunately, the restaurant closed in April 2020. Due to COVID-19, there was no opportunity for a proper farewell, and the partners posted a simple message on social media about the closure.

In March 2021, Breakwater Hospitality Group (the Wharf Miami, the Wharf Fort Lauderdale, Rivertail), along with Black Market Miami owner Erick Passo, announced it would reopen the beloved pub.

On Friday, November 18, the restaurant will officially reopen to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held the day before.

Breakwater partner Emi Guerra tells New Times that John Martin's was supposed to open last year, but more work was needed than planned. "We originally wanted to do a quick makeover and refresh and get it open right away. But, as we started digging in, the infrastructure wasn't in the condition to do that. We really had to rebuild everything from scratch."
click to enlarge
John Martin's reopens in Coral Gables.
Photo by Bigtime Design Studios
Guerra said the partners wanted to stay true to the John Martin's that people loved for three decades. They consulted the original owners, Martin Lynch and John Clarke, and brought in Bigtime Design Studios to bring the space into 2022 while still honoring the past. "We were very careful to leave certain elements in, but it doesn't look exactly the same. To me, it looks incredible," says Guerra, adding that Bigtime Design researched and pulled inspiration from what modern pubs in Ireland are doing design-wise.

In keeping with the original John Martin's, the pub will offer a menu filled with classic Irish dishes such as fish and chips, bangers and mash, a hearty Irish breakfast, and a shepherd's pie.

And there will be live music on the weekends.

Guerra says that John Martin's might seem like a departure from Breakwater's other ventures, which tend to be larger-scale places, but this might very well be the most personal project. "This is special to us since we grew up in the area. This is a passion project. John Martin's caters to a lot of our friends that we grew up with."

Most importantly, Guerra said that John Martin's will once again host a St. Patrick's Day celebration. "We're pretty good at the party thing at Breakwater. We're looking forward to celebrating St. Patrick's Day. We have a few months to get it right."

For now, Guerra's focus is finally reopening the doors to the beloved Irish pub that has held a special place in so many Miamians' hearts. "Hopefully the old regulars return and we get a whole new bunch of people. This place is not about us. It's about community."

John Martin's Irish Pub. 253 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; johnmartinsmiami.com. Opening Friday, November 18.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss

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