MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A little more than a year after it closed after its outdoor deck collapsed, plunging patrons into the water, Shucker’s Bar & Grill in North Bay Village is set to re-open.
Situated on the 79th Street Causeway, the popular waterfront grill which now features a brand new deck will officially re-open to the public on Thursday. However, there will be a come-as-you-are, soft opening Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.
On June 13, 2013 dozens of people were on the restaurant’s wooden deck watching the Miami Heat play in Game 4 of the NBS Finals when it split and tore away from the seawall. Nearly 100 people fell into the water. Of those, 33 people were hurt, with 24 being transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital and North Shore Medical Center.
The deck’s age led to the collapse, according to inspectors.
Some thought with all of the damage, the restaurant would surely go out of business. Not the case at all. Shucker’s general manager Don Portela said they are back, they are stronger and they’re ready for their family-like business to try to get back to normal.
“It is about rebuilding starting brand-new,” said Portela.
Not only has the restaurant received a makeover, it also sports a sturdy new outside seating area.
“What is this were standing on,” asked CBS4’s Cynthia Demos.
“This is a composite wood, it is part plastic so it can stay outside well, it has a lifetime warranty on it,” replied Portela.
Structurally the new deck is as good as it gets; Concrete pilings, concrete supports and it’s the same size of 30′ x 120′.
“What is the weight capacity,” asked Demos.
“It’s a lot, you can put the entire AmericanAirlines Arena on here,” joked Portela.
In all seriousness, North Bay Village officials said the weight capacity now is 360,000 pounds. With seating for about 120 patrons that means each person would have to weigh more than 3,000 pounds each for the deck to collapse. It can also withstand 175 mile-per-hour wins. A category five hurricane is 155 mph or stronger.
“I remember our engineer saying this is really over engineered and Checkers said we will make sure this never falls again,” said North bay Village Manager Frank Rollason.
The restaurant spent $150,000 to replace the deck, another $10,000 to replace the top of the deck, $15,000 to fix the seawall, $10,000 to update the electrical and $2,500 for plumbing upgrades.
County officials signed off a temporary Certificate of Occupancy on May 19th which is good for six months. Miami-Dade code enforcement officials say building structures must be inspected 40 years after they are built and then every ten years after that. While buildings are required to have inspectiions, decks are not.
Shucker’s management wants to re-assure the public that their structure is sturdy and safe and ready for business. Speaking of business, about half of last year’s staff are returning to the waterfront mainstay.
“It’s like a family, everyone’s really excited about it,” said Portela.
Attorney Spencer Aronfeld, who represents seven people injured in the deck collapse, said one has already settled and the others are pending. Dozens of other people have also sought legal representation and word is their settlements are pending.