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Balloo
Photograph: Vanessa Rogers

These notable Miami restaurants and bars have now permanently closed

A running list of lockdown casualties and Miami restaurants that will not be reopening their doors.

By
Virginia Gil
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After months of closures and interrupted reopenings, most of Miami’s restaurants have swung open their doors once more. Sadly, there are still those that haven’t and many that won’t. The restaurants below dealt us a real gut-punch when we learned they would be closing permanently. Some have shuttered as a result of leases expiring while others have straight up gone out of business. Times are tough and there’s no telling what other businesses might follow suit. We’ll continue to watch this space and update our story, but, for now, these are the places that have already permanently closed.

RECOMMENDED: The best new restaurants in Miami

Balloo

We gave this chill, Caribbean restaurant five stars straight out of the gate—and boy did it deserve it. It was homey with a deeply personal menu inspired by namesake chef Timon Balloo’s mixed island heritage. Sadly, its compact, cozy vibes were what did it in. Chef Balloo announced the restaurant’s closure on Instagram today, adding that while the physical location is closed, the operation continues with meal kits and an abbreviated menu available for pickup and delivery on select days of the week. Fortunately, he hopes to reopen Balloo in a bigger and better space sometime in the future, though no word on where that will be yet. Watch his full message below. (Updated Oct 27)

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Upland

Say goodbye forever to the best roast chicken in Miami. The South Beach restaurant with roots in New York City won’t be reopening—and it’s filed for bankruptcy. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal via Eater Miami, Upland is the only restaurant within Stephen Starr’s hospitality group seeking bankruptcy protection. Starr’s other South Florida eateries—Le Zoo, Makoto, and Steak 954—remain open.

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Cake Thai Kitchen

The end of this tiny restaurant made big news when it closed on August 22. While only around for six years, it was an industry darling loved for its authentic, affordable Thai cuisine. Over its brief lifespan, Cake Thai expanded to food halls 1-800-Lucky and Lincoln Eatery, as well as Wynwood, but all locations have since closed.

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David’s Cafe Cafecito

Ground zero for hungry tourists seeking Cuban food, this enduring South Beach restaurant closed its doors on August 31 after 42 years. The family-owned business made the announcement on Instagram, breaking our collective hearts and leaving Miami Beach with one less Latin eatery.

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Concrete Beach Brewing

One of the neighborhood’s largest, splashiest breweries has closed up shop. Last call for a Concrete Beach brew to-go will be this Friday and Saturday, September 4 and 5, from 2 to 7pm. After that, the Samuel Adams’-owned spot will close permanently. Though it’s not all bad news: Dogfish Head Miami will be taking over the space in the near future.

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Le Sirenuse Miami

After three years and numerous accolades, this dreamy Italian import has shut its doors permanently. The groups behind Le Sirenuse and Four Seasons Hotel and Residences at The Surf Club made the mutual decision to stop operations in August after lockdown closures negatively impacted the business. According to a statement released by the restaurant, “Le Sirenuse will be working diligently to resume its presence in North America and continue the great culinary transitions of Naples and the Amalfi Coast.” (Updated Oct 27)

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Ortanique on the Mile

This one stings. After more than two decades on Miracle Mile, the Ortanique has announced it will not be reopening. Owner and chef Cindy Hutson made the announcement on the restaurant’s Instagram page, sharing a heartfelt note about Ortanique’s 21 years in business. (Updated July 20)

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White Rose Coffee

The hipster coffee shop permanently shut down its West Miami spot and is currently between locations. While White Rose as an entity still exists, the cafe, as we know it, has closed.

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Laid Fresh

The Wynwood breakfast spot (where all hangovers went to die) announced on Tuesday, June 23, that it would be closing the doors on its coop. It was home to some of the best breakfast sandwiches in Miami and served its mimosas in coffee mugs, giving us the freedom to sip champagne as early as we wanted. We’ve heard news of a reopening in recent weeks and can confirm a new Laid Fresh could be arriving as soon as November. Stay tuned. 

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Bird & Bone 

Richard Hales’s beloved fried chicken spot inside the Confidante Miami Beach closed suddenly just as the county went into lockdown. The Miami Herald reports that Hales was unceremoniously let go from his contract during a March 18 meeting with the Hyatt group, which owns the property. The chef has since filed a lawsuit against Hyatt.

Bird & Bone
Photograph: Moris Moreno

Gregory’s Diner

The Vagabond’s chic, American diner from the folks behind Mandolin is turning into Mr. Mandolin and going back to its Greek roots. Say goodbye to potato pancakes and cheese and hello to classic Aegean street fair. Gregory is officially gone, but there’s still no word on when its new reiteration will open.

Gregory’s Diner
Photograph: Gesi Schilling

PokeBao

Daniel Bouza’s chef-driven poké spot on Giralda Plaza quietly shuttered its doors last month, sources say. Though no formal announcement has been made, the restaurant has not reopened nor has it posted on social media in three months. Bouza previously worked at Makoto and Nobu—and made the best-tasting, affordable crispy tuna rice at PokeBao. We can’t wait to see where he’ll wind up next.

PokeBao
Photograph: Courtesy PokeBao/Gabriel Gutierrez

Obra Kitchen Table

Open for less than two years, the Brickell restaurant’s shone bright thanks in no small part to its executive chef and owner Carlos Garcia. The talented toque made waves with his award-winning restaurant in Caracas and left a lasting impression on Miami’s culinary community, forging partnerships with local chefs and fundraising for various causes through intimate dinners and special events. An Eat List entry from the moment it opened, Obra will be sorely missed.

Obra Kitchen Table
Photograph: Nelson Tirado

John Martin’s Pub

The Coral Gables institution decided not to renew its lease just as lockdown started, reported the Miami Herald. Known for its rousing happy hours and festive St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, one of Miami-Dade’s few Irish pubs officially closed its doors for good mid-April after 30 years in business.

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Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article mentioned Café Roval but it has since been edited to reflect that the restaurant is, in fact, still in business. Its future, according to a representative from Café Roval, is "undetermined."

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