Tony Goldman, Restaurateur and Entrepreneur, Dies at 68

Read also: Tony and Jessica Goldman: They Heart Miami

Tony Goldman, entrepreneur, developer, restaurateur, and visionary, died yesterday of heart failure in New York City, surrounded by family. He was 68.

Goldman was a Miami visionary who, in 1985, saw potential in an old beachside town considered by most as past its prime. That town, of course,

was South Beach.

At the time, the art deco hotels were run down, vacant, and

boarded up. Goldman saw promise and purchased 18 properties in as

many months. In 1987, he reopened the Park Central Hotel in SoBe and opened Tony's Club, Ocean Drive's first music room.

A year

later, Goldman opened the area's most prestigious restaurant,

Lucky's at the Park Central.

That was the beginning of Goldman's love

affair with Miami and, in the years to follow, he opened numerous

hotels and restaurants throughout Miami Beach, including Mathilda's Restaurant and Bar, the Riviera Kitchen and Bar with son and partner

Joey in the Imperial Hotel on Ocean Drive, and the four-star Wish. His

daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, is the chief operating officer of

Goldman's hotel division.

In 2004, Goldman discovered the Wynwood

section of Miami. Envisioning the warehouse district as an art and

dining hub, much like SoHo in New York, Goldman, along with his

partner/son Joey, acquired more than 25 properties in the

rough-around-the-edges neighborhood.

Since then, Goldman, along with Joey and Jessica, worked diligently to build up

Wynwood, with Joey's and Wynwood Kitchen & Bar some of the

first restaurants in the area. Now Wynwood is a thriving hub of

activity that boasts a robust dining and art scene.

The Goldman family has issued the following statement: "To the community he touched, he was a transforming, once-in-a-lifetime figure. To us, he was a devoted husband, wonderful father, and doting grandfather."

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