MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The scene for restaurants along Miracle Mile in Coral Gables is one of revival, as the pandemic seems to be winding down and more diners head out on the town.
Restaurants like Ortanique on the Mile, California Pizza Kitchen, Miller’s Ale House, and John Martin’s closed during the pandemic are planning a comeback.READ MORE: Florida Sheriff's Deputies Cleared In Shootout With Two Children
The Mile saw a lull in 2020 in the height of the pandemic, while developers waited for zoning changes for parking and building that, approved by the city commission, will spur redevelopment of some of the older one and two-story shops.
The pandemic forced many area restaurants to close, but now, many more are opening.
Carlos Rruz says: “It has been one of the biggest challenges I have hand in my career.”
Talking about opening the Gramercy, a New York-based restaurant concept.
The restaurant fills the space formerly occupied by the popular Tarpon Bend, with its large space and plenty of outdoor seating…
Finding staff navigating the COVID protocols, but open and thriving. Especially with pandemic-weary patrons eager to dine out.
“We have been at home for a long time, so everyone wants to be out,” said Carlos Cruz, the Gramercy’s director of operations.READ MORE: Tracking The Tropics: Two Systems In The Atlantic Could Become Tropical Depressions Over The Next Few Days
The mile was revamped in 2016, a painfully slow and expensive process that saw some businesses depart, in the wake of increased rents and developers scooping up properties.
Then, came COVID and some restaurants and businesses faded, but in recent months, the Gables business improvement district officials say 29 new restaurants and retailers have opened this year.
By our count, 15 are restaurants when you include the Giralda Plaza.
“We had a lot of time to come up with new concepts, very good ideas,” said Cruz.
Filling the space of the closed Cibo Wine Bar, at forty-five Miracle Mile, there is Forte by Chef Adrianne.
Where there was once a Starbucks, a Sushi Sake is preparing to open.
Closed John Martin’s Irish Pub is set for a new lease on life. The same can be said about Gustave at 366 Miracle Mile and Seasy Mediterranean at 136 on the Mile is open and taking advantage of the dine-out boom.
Back at the Gramercy, Cruz says, “Every week, we are dealing with how do we, how do we expand more to take more reservations.”MORE NEWS: Miami Weather: Steamy Sun In The Morning, Scattered Showers Later
The new owners at John Martin’s promise to be open sometime in the fall. This is just a part of what appears to be a mini-renaissance of restaurants on Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile.