Closings

Scotty's Landing Given 60-Day Notice by City

Update: There is speculation that Grove Bay Investment Group will keep Scotty's Landing open well past the fall in an attempt to capitalize on the restaurant's popularity and money-making ability.

When you call Scotty's Landing,  the first thing you hear is the message, "Despite what you may read or hear, we are open." Unfortunately, if the City of Miami gets its way, in less than two months, that recording and Scotty's Landing will be no more.

After a lengthy David and Goliath-like battle with the City of Miami, it looks like Scotty's has lost its epic fight for survival. 

A letter posted on the Crespogram Report from Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso to Scotty's Landing owner Scott Wessel gives the beloved restaurant/bar owner 60 days to pack and go. A city official named in the letter, but who did not want to be identified or quoted, verified that it was indeed sent on August 12, 2015.

In it, Alfonso states that the city is revoking the latest lease agreement between Miami and Grove Key Marina LLC (of which Wessel is the owner) dated January 19, 2013. The letter also served as a 60-day notice, as required by the lease agreement.

The letter also states that a $53,250 guaranty deposit would be returned to Mr. Wessel "after the licensee has vacated the Property without damage to the Property." 

Calls to both Scott Wessel and the City's Department of Real Estate and Asset Management, as well as City of Miami chief communications officer Angel Zayon have not been returned.

The Scotty's Landing saga started about three years ago, after the City of Miami requested bids for newer, shiner replacements for Scotty's, Grove Key Marina, and Chart House in June 2012. Though Wessel submitted a proposal for an upgraded eatery and renovated marina, he lost the bid, although the City of Miami did agree to extend the agreement that allows Scotty's and the marina to operate on city-owned property in Coconut Grove, with the stipulation that the agreement could be revoked at any time with sufficient notice.

This might not be the complete demise of Scotty's Landing, however. The Grove Harbour project, the 83,200-square-foot, mega multi-use complex that would consist of restaurants, retail space, a garage, and marina, would replace Scotty's. However, the owners Grove Bay Investment Group have purchased the Scotty's Landing name, meaning that a "new" Scotty's Landing could rise like a phoenix from old Scotty's ashes.

The project, by the way, has been hotly contested by a vocal group of Grovites, who have rallied in the past to stop the development. So far, a Moveon.org online petition has received nearly 3,000 signatures to cease progress on the project, stating, "I object to the taking of our magnificent bayfront land for private development as proposed by the Miami City Commission and Grove Harbour LLC. In light of the potential detrimental effects of this development and the dire need for public park space in the city of Miami, I hereby request that the Miami City Commission reconsider their support for this ill-conceived project."

Regardless of what may happen with Grove Harbour, there's one certainty. Unless there's a last-minute pardon, the countdown for the demise of Scotty's Landing has begun. 
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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