MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On Miami Beach since 1940, the Shelborne South Beach Hotel bills itself as a place where ‘modern sophistication meets vintage-chic.’
The Art Deco District hotel, like most area businesses, was smacked hard by the pandemic in the last year.READ MORE: Broward Mayor Steve Geller Says There Will Be A Mask Mandate, COVID-19 Test Sites See Long Lines Again
Fortunately, it has been rebuilding its occupancy rate and along the way has provided a home for one of South Beaches’ long-time favorite restaurants.
Managing Principal of Menin Hospitality Jared Galbert says, “We had to make the unfortunate decision that we had to close down furloughing employees, letting go employees. It was a difficult time.”
Payroll protection money helped retain some employees and position the hotel to reopen.
“We got some guidance on when we could reopen, just in the nick of time. We were getting a little tight, we were able to reopen,” Galbert said.READ MORE: 'We Have To Protect People,' Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava Hopes Businesses Will Follow CDC Mask Recommendations
Spring break aside, management says the Shelborne has “been busy” as tourists slowly come back, weekends can be sold out. But hotel rates are not back to 2019 levels. So how to pivot during COVID?
“We said you know what there are a lot of the restaurants that have not reopened in Miami Beach, classic restaurants that represent Miami Beach as it was. One of those was David’s cafe,” Galbert said.
David’s Cafe, now located to the front of the Shelborne, brings all that is the beach into the hotel.
“In the back of the hotel, we partnered USP with sweet liberty which is a bar down the street. Michelle Bernstein, Josh Wagner, the entire crew has done a tremendous job of creating a “sweet beach at the back of our hotel,” Galbert said.
The hotel has new pop-up attractions all at your fingertips. You can see a few just by taking the hotel elevator.MORE NEWS: Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Releasing Daily COVID Numbers
“Kind of giving our guests that Miami Beach attraction experience with them not having to leave the hotel,” adds Galbert.