MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – Less than two years after closings its Lincoln Road location, David’s Cafe on Collins Avenue will stop brewing Cuban cafecito for good.
The South Beach staple will close its doors for the final time Sunday, according to a Facebook post on the restaurant’s page.
“This chapter where it all started in 1977 is coming to an end, but the story is far from over,” the post read.
On Tuesday afternoon, frequent patrons were surprised to learn of the impending shutdown.
“It’s kind of sad,” Leonard Obando told CBS4’s Lauren Pastrana as he waited for his order at the window on the corner of Collins and 11th St. “I usually come out here, sit in the back, have a few drinks. Great spot to pick up coffee in the morning, too. Really sad. I didn’t even know it was closing.”
The restaurant which opened in 1977 long-served as an example of the American dream.
The owner came from Cuba and eventually set up shop on Miami Beach, sharing his country’s cuisine with locals and tourists alike.
“37 years is a long time. It’s a piece of history in Miami Beach,” said Arik Lev, who works at the convenience store next door..
Patrons will have to go elsewhere for their midday cortadito or all-you-can eat lunch buffet starting Monday.
“It’s going to be something that we’re going to miss on this block in this area,” said Scott Betten, whose real estate office is right across the street.
David’s Lincoln Road location was shuttered almost two years ago, a victim of rising rents.
Former employees protested back then, claiming they were owed 20 weeks of backpay.
A lawsuit was filed and the Department of Labor launched an investigation.
At the Collins Avenue cafe, construction problems have plagued the restaurant and nearby businesses, hurting their bottom lines.
“It’s killing us. Dust. There’s a lot of tourists cannot even get into the store,” Lev said.
“I’m just over the construction thing. Everything else is improving though,” Obando said.
“For sale” signs spot the restaurant’s blue exterior.
A check of the website for the Comras Company, which listed the property, revealed a flyer which shows the building is listed for sale at $11.5 million.
It’s not known exactly what will open here next, possibly a retail store, but local Scott Betten says it’s a sign of the times.
“The beach is changing,” Betten explained. “I believe that’s what’s going on on this street as well as Lincoln Road, Ocean Drive. It’s changing.”
You’re invited to mark the end of an era at David’s Cafe Sunday, April 20th from 5pm to 8pm.