Coconut Grove has been a fickle neighborhood for many restaurants. While some owners open in hope of becoming the next GreenStreet Cafe, others close in a matter of months. What might be hindering the prosperity of establishments in the Grove is the unfriendly parking situation. If Coconut Grove, like the vast majority of Miami, offered more free parking, perhaps the likes of the following three types of needed restaurants would succeed.
Deli: With all due respect to the failure of Chicago's Bakery & Deli, I have hope a sandwich-serving eatery can profit in Coconut Grove. Amongst its cheap eats and local-friendly establishments, the Grove could use the kind of deli that screams "My Reuben beats your Reuben any day of the week!" It has to be the kind of deli that makes people wait on line for twenty minutes because they're craving a hot, two-inch thick roast beef sandwich. Indoor and outdoor seating, cases of fresh cold cuts and house-made salads, and catering sounds like a winner to me!
Bakery: We're not talking guava and cheese pastelitos or vanilla cakes. We're talking homemade cannolis dipped in chocolate chips, black and white cookies, and a whole store that pumps out baked goods as good as or better than The Fresh Market, which probably has the best bakery in the Grove right now. Made-to-order cakes, coffee, and the kind of smell that suggests it's Sunday morning is what this bakery needs if it's going to make it.
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Japanese: Miami is inundated with sushi and Asian fusion restaurants. Well, most of Miami. Coconut Grove is missing out on its own Japanese restaurant. And let it be suggested that the concept remain true to Japanese cuisine and sushi. Here's to hoping that the Grove gets their own, independent Japanese restaurant!