COCONUT GROVE (CBSMiami) – Scotty’s Landing is Miami’s version of Cheers. The beloved burger-and-fish joint has been a fixture on Coconut Grove’s waterfront for more than 20 years.

However, the restaurant’s future is treading muddy waters.
After the restaurant’s operator, Grove Key Marina, saw its 35-year lease expire at the end of June, the city began taking bids for the property.

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Then, on Friday, the city scrapped the bidding process, which means Scotty’s is back to square one.

According to a city commissioner, the number-one bidder had a key player who had issues with bankruptcy filings. The proposal from Scott Wessel, the current marina and restaurant operator, came in second place. Unfortunately for him, Scotty’s faired no better. The commissioner said the restaurant was behind on property taxes. Wessel denied that. He sayed his lease never required him to pay taxes until now.

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He also said he’s always been a good tenant of the city.

“We’ve lived our lease to the ‘T’. We’ve always paid our rent on time, never late. In the 30-plus years that we’ve had the lease our audits are fine,” said Wessel.

The bottom line is that the bidding process will start over and Scotty’s has to prove to the city that it is on the mend, or it will lose the property and the restaurant will close.

Wessel is trying to remain optimistic.

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“We want to stay here. We’ve developed roots with the community. I think the close-to-4000-plus petitions that have been signed to save Scotty’s speaks volumes about what people want down in the Grove,” said Wessel.