The Wharf Miami Isn't Moving to Bayside — But This New Entertainment Venue Is

Breakwater Hospitality Group has announced it will open Pier 5 at Bayside Marketplace while continuing to operate sister concepts the Wharf Miami and the Wharf Fort Lauderdale.
Breakwater Hospitality Group has announced it will open Pier 5 at Bayside Marketplace while continuing to operate sister concepts the Wharf Miami and the Wharf Fort Lauderdale. Photo courtesy of Breakwater Hospitality Group
It's official: The Wharf Miami is not closing.

Although news to the contrary made the rounds early last week, claiming the popular riverfront establishment would be leaving its longtime location to relocate to Bayside Marketplace, this is not the case, Breakwater Hospitality Group cofounder Emi Guerra assures New Times.

Although the iconic waterfront restaurant will not be closing its doors to make way for new development, Guerra did disclose some actual news: his group's plan to bring a totally new venue to the 34-year-old Bayside entertainment complex later this year.

This winter, Breakwater will unveil its latest concept, Pier 5, named for South Florida’s most famous fishing pier, which once stood in downtown Miami where Bayside Marketplace is located. The establishment will be a partnership with Rodney Barreto of the Barreto Group, as well as Erick Passo, founder of Black Market, which recently opened its second location in Bayside in the space once occupied by Hooters.

"I first went to Bayside when I was 10 years old,” says Guerra, who began planning the new location in January after Black Market's Erick Passo told him the space was available. "I have so many fond memories of my childhood visiting this special place with my family. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on such a legacy project of this magnitude.”

The partners describe the new venue as an open-air entertainment and social-gathering destination. The theme is inspired by the site’s prior life as a fishing pier that, during the 1940s and 1950s, thrived as a seafood market, a tourist attraction, and a backdrop for some of the best sportfishing in the subtropics.

"Pier 5 is not replacing Wharf Miami," Guerra explains. "It’s being built as another unique venue in addition to the Wharf Miami. It will be similar in that it’s nautical in nature and it’s on the waterfront. However, it will be tailored to the rich history that is Pier 5 — now Bayside — while also infusing a modern aesthetic and programming to inspire and celebrate the area’s future."

Pier 5 will be open seven days a week in a freshly renovated space that will sport Breakwater Hospitality's signature deck games, multiple shaded lounge areas and bars, and entertainment space.

According to Pamela Weller, Bayside's vice president of asset management, more than 20 million people visit Bayside each year.

"It’s the most centrally located, unique spot in all of Miami," Guerra adds. "It’s really the pearl of our city when it comes to waterfront venues. We’re extremely excited to be such an integral part of the continued evolution of this landmark property."
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna