Wednesday December 20, 2006

What's up with Washington Avenue?

It’s not doing so hot, that’s what. Check it out:


Here’s a store with what appears to be a semi-permanent “Clerance 70% off” sign.


Outback Steakhouse. If you look closely, you’ll see a sign that says “Opening Fall of 2006.” Opps, it’s Winter now, and Outback doesn’t look like it’s anywhere close to opening. This is in the fancy building at Washington and 5th, which was built with great fanfare a few years ago, and still has a number of vacancies to this day!

Rustical Drilling

Some sort of WWII-era looking pumping truck outside Pizza Rustica. Same one that’s been around for years, but it’s still weird.

Who wants to open a nightclub?

At 681 Washington, the former location of Goddess is available to any would-be club entrepreneur. Anyone?


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  1. Duran    Wed Dec 20, 02:25 PM #  

    Corbar also closed a while ago, and it has yet to open back up. Could people be tired of the Beach? Could it be because of an oversaturated market? Things that make you go hmmmm…

  2. that guy    Wed Dec 20, 02:48 PM #  

    crobar is opening next month. It was acquired by Space and is undergoing a much needed renovation and refit.

    As for the “Nightclub Available” space? I’d love to know whichever fool buys it. Investing in a nightclub in this town is like setting your money on fire. There’s two incumbent players, everyone else is just scrambling for scraps.

  3. Giovanni    Wed Dec 20, 03:03 PM #  

    Its beyond me how these businesses on Washington stay open. Tourism I guess, but how many South Beach towels and mugs can those gift shops possibly sell? As for the night life? How Club Deep has been around for so long is even further beyond me. But I do hope Outback does open. Driving to Flagler and 87th is way too far for a bloommin’ onion.

  4. I was there    Wed Dec 20, 03:08 PM #  

    South Beach = Purgatory
    A Czech friend who came to South Beach after spending several months in the Amazon drinking Ayahuasca stated that most of the “people” you see walking around South Beach are actually GHOSTS, caught in a Purgotory/Bardo type of afterlife.
    So be careful who you interact with, they may be DEAD!

  5. Johnny    Wed Dec 20, 04:53 PM #  

    The problem with Southbeach is too much of the same thing over and over. The rents are too high for small “unique” stores to sustain themselves and clubs all cram in trying to beat each other out instead of focusing on some kind of theme or making themselves unique. Even some of those club names are so dumb! They also only cater to tourists. Some of us Miamians also like to head to the beach sometimes…offer us something unique and fun to visit and we might go.

  6. b.a.c.    Wed Dec 20, 05:08 PM #  

    something unique, fun AND CHEAP!

  7. kingofrance    Wed Dec 20, 05:25 PM #  

    unique, fun, and cheap? That would be the V.F.W. bar on West Ave.

  8. j-j    Wed Dec 20, 05:53 PM #  

    Dude, washington ave has been resisting gentrification for the past 60 years, it’s always been gritty and damm it- we like it that way!

  9. that guy    Wed Dec 20, 06:45 PM #  

    This is true. This area doesn’t need yet another gentrified stretch. The Beach is gentrified enough thank you very much. Leave Washington alone. Gives the tower-dwellers and scumbag yuppies something to be afraid of.

  10. dreaming    Wed Dec 20, 07:18 PM #  

    you forgot the soon to open starbucks on washington with a window sign that promises: ‘brewing soon’...but that was months ago…nada….actually, if you take a good look, most of sobe looks like beirut in daylight…it sorely needs a cleanup, and i dont mean just a washdown with a hose….its an overpriced, overhyped dump, if you have to look at it for more than three days like a tourist….i find it depressing in anything bt deep darkness. but i guess thats when most people see it….

  11. NicFitKid    Wed Dec 20, 08:15 PM #  

    Hmmm, looks like a deuce-and-a-half with a drill rig mounted on the back. The company name plate on the door says Dynamic Environmental Drilling , which matches the name of a South Florida company specializing in that kind of work. Perhaps a drainage project?

  12. alesh    Wed Dec 20, 08:50 PM #  

    Nic~ BTW, you can append commas, periods, and I think even endparenths to the backside of a link and textile will fiture it out, see? Doesn’t work with question and exclamation marks. For anything else, try it and watch the preview.

    J-j~ Yes, I like it dirty too. Washington, Collins, and Ocean have very different moods from each other, one of the things I like about the beach. My favorite block anywhere in driving distance is the Lincoln between Washington and Collins. If you squint, it’s a little like a season-shifted Manhattan.

  13. Alex    Wed Dec 20, 11:48 PM #  

    Squint a freakin’ lot, but I kinda get it. As far as Washington, it’s the street renovation that has been killing them. Once it’s complete gentrification will follow, ala Biscayne Blvd.

  14. NicFitKid    Thu Dec 21, 12:31 AM #  

    Then I shall have to sabotage the street renovations for as long as possible in order to preserve my rent and keep my building from going condo. I will also begin a shuttle service dedicated to bringing the mainland homeless across the causeway and directly to Washington.

    Oh, and don’t forget the tents! We must distribute tents and encourage take-overs of the alleyways. To the barricades, fellow low-rent residents, the property values must be suppressed!

  15. HEAD    Thu Dec 21, 12:46 AM #  

    ... and next Art Basel we all must grab a bunch of euro-trash with nets and force them to obey the gentrification Hefe(s)...

  16. whl    Thu Dec 21, 10:40 AM #  

    washington is my least favorite street on the beach but i love south beach. I’m tired of so many jealous haters that always insult south beach and the people who choose to live there.

  17. alesh    Thu Dec 21, 10:55 AM #  

    I’m with you, wormhole. It’s a tourist destination, but it’s also a nice, and very diverse, little community. Historically accurate, pedestrian friendly, and beautiful.

  18. that guy    Thu Dec 21, 11:49 AM #  

    It’s not necessarily about insulting the Beach. It’s more of the fact that a lot of people know how it once was and deriding the current elitist attitude of people who live there. So fucking what, you live on South Beach. Wow. I’m real impressed.

    What a lot of people deride now is the influx of white people that are essentially ruining the beach with condos, chain stores, more condos, draconian zoning laws, and conservative nonsense like rolling back bar and club closing times to 2 AM. Dermer said he tabled the issue, but that doesn’t mean jack shit.

    It’s funny, people move here for the culture and the atmosphere, and the first thing they want to do upon moving is change it. Pretty soon, this sandbar will look like an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog.

    Don’t bleach the beach. It’s bad enough now, but we can stop it from becoming worse. The last thing we need is more developers hawking more cookie-cutter condos.

  19. j-j    Thu Dec 21, 12:38 PM #  

    I was there:

    Dude, people have been complaining ever since I moned here and that was in 96… and yes the beach is changing. But so has Soho,Chelsea and the lower east side in NYC. Burgs change, deal with it.

    Instead of hawking my ear off with complaints I widh peeps would get off their buts and actually do something about it. And if all you do is sit back and complain about the ‘good old days’ then what good are you bringing to the table?

    I for instance belong to my neighborhood association and with a group of activist citizens managed to stop the whole Circus Solei crap at the Jackie Gleason, and now we are going to have the Filmore MB instead.

    My point is that you can complain and moan about gentrification all you want but untli you actually stand up and do something about it, it’s all missdirected rage.

    And yes people are jealous of those of us who live on the Beach. Hey, I’ll even admit that before I moved here I was pretty jealous of my friend who lived in washington ave…

    I’ll leave you all with the words of my fave Beach Bum: Iggy POP “I moved from NYC to an old house in Miami Beach, and things got too terribly groovy. There are birds here. I go to New York from time to time, and it’s really exciting when I go. Miami’s never been more than a spit from New York anyway.”

    Hey, if it’s good enough for Iggy, then it’s good enough for me!

    see ya, hatters! I’ll be eating chocolates…sitting by the beach

  20. I was there    Thu Dec 21, 01:54 PM #  

    Don’t get me wrong. I love and live on Miami Beach….I spend six years on Washington Avenue and Espanola Way and now I’ve retired to North Beach, where it is quiet and “rough” around the edges….no starbucks yet. I go to South Beach whenever I want a six dollar cup of coffee and feel like people watching….Miami Beach Rules!
    I’ve been here since the mid 1980s and remember rolling my eyes when I first heard the word SOBE. My good friends/artists LIVED IN Lincoln Road Storefronts back when the Book and Books space was around $400 dollars a month!
    I can live without all the chain stores. Yet I realize that nothing is permanent and it is constantly changing.

  21. b.a.c.    Thu Dec 21, 02:29 PM #  

    For some reason chocolates on the beach sounds fucking disgusting

  22. j-j    Thu Dec 21, 02:42 PM #  


    good point but for some strange reason they taste rather well after smoking-up a nice, round fat joint… they are actually fucking delish!

  23. I was there    Thu Dec 21, 03:05 PM #  

    yeah man and when yr stoned you don’t notice the grit of the sand between yr teeth, or the fact that yr actually munching on a dog turd.
    pass the doobie brother….

  24. j-j    Thu Dec 21, 03:15 PM #  

    oh man, was that a dog turd that I was just munching on? Oh well live and learn :-)

  25. b.a.c.    Thu Dec 21, 03:59 PM #  

    Godiva turds. You can buy them in Dadeland

  26. Manola Blablablanik    Thu Dec 21, 04:29 PM #  

    Good points, Alesh & JJ.

    I don’t know what was so great about the “good old days” ... back in the 70s and 80s anyway MB was more of a dump with the old farts having one foot in the grave. It’s a new generation now. I don’t want MB to become Disneyland but some change has been good. Go to that exhibit at the Historical Museum of South Florida before it closes … it’s all about how Miami Beach reinvents itself.

    And there are a shitload of people who call this home, a shitload of schools, churches, temples, etc; that no one ever talks about because the tourism overshadows it, but if you really look at the heavy tourist sector (Ocean-Washington) south of 23rd, more or less, it’s really only a small fraction of Miami Beach in total.

    Condo-mania is going on all over Miami so it’s not only Miami Beach.

    If people are jealous I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because the Atlantic Ocean is our backyard? Still, the beach is open to all.

  27. I was there    Thu Dec 21, 05:19 PM #  

    And to top it all off the Rascal House in Sunny Isles is closing within two years to make room for a luxury condo…..The wrecking ball is insatiable.

  28. dreaming    Thu Dec 21, 07:33 PM #  

    rascal house closing? oh, wherever will i go to get a $15 pastrami sandwich???

  29. I was there    Thu Dec 21, 08:09 PM #  

    It’s not the vein clogging $15 pastrami, its the lingering smell of Frank Sinatra and Jackie Gleason’s flatulence that will be missed.

  30. jordan    Fri Dec 22, 01:11 AM #  

    On the beach there is near nudity and that is pretty awesome to me…

  31. that guy    Sat Dec 23, 05:25 PM #  

    What is needed is a balance? Are condos really necessary? I mean, they’re nothing but glorified apartments, anyway. I rent right now, but when I buy, it certainly won’t be a condo. I’m getting a house with enough room in the backyard to put up one of those old C-band dishes just because I can. Plus a house has what I like to call a “defensible perimeter”. Condo’s don’t. You pay $500,000 and you still hear your fat, nasty neighbor who likes to have black girls shove dildos up his ass.

    I know there’s zilch for room on the beach, so a house is nigh-impossible to obtain for less than a mil, but what little property is left is snatched up by greedy developers and condo flippers who don’t contribute a cent to the region. Hence, I will not live on Miami Beach anytime soon. I did for awhile, but then, guess what, a developer decided to knock down my apt. Three years later, the land is still vacant.

    Gentrification sucks. A little roughness adds some zest to the area. Keeps Riley, Cody, Logan, and Dakota out if you know what I mean. Plus, clubs and bars can operate with near imputiny, since homeless people don’t vote.

    I like a safe beach as much as the next guy, I just don’t wanna see it become downtown West Palm Beach. And yes, I do tend to speak up, but as we all know, the city of Miami Beach would demolish the synagogue on 17th and Washington if the price was right.

    Screw condos and screw gentrification. It’s funny, I don’t even live there anymore and I put up more of a fight than most residents do.

  32. iggy doesn't live on the beach any more...    Thu Dec 28, 04:31 PM # far as i know. he decamped for the mainland!

  33. nav    Wed Jan 3, 12:17 AM #  

    “outback stakehouse” on wash. ave. is about to open anyday now.

    just thought I’ll let you know that.