Two Miami restaurants are closing this week to make room for a $412 million commercial and residential project on Biscayne Boulevard near the Arsht Center.
Wednesday will be patrons’ last chance to eat a chicken-salad sandwich livened with basil, pine nuts, golden raisins and green apple from Manhattan Café & Market, which has been open for 18 years at 251 NE 14th Street.
And Saturday will be the last time to wash down a basket of fish and chips with worldly craft beer from the Democratic Republic of Beer, DRB, at 255 NE 14th Street, which opened next door to Manhattan Café in 2009.
“It’s sad because it feels like we’ve been here forever, and now we have to go,” said Heather Knobel, 19, whose mom, Rosaly Guimaraes, owns the Manhattan and is a constant presence, working tables or behind the cash register. “My parents opened this place when I was a baby. I’m the girl whose pictures are all over the walls.”
The building that houses the cafe and the beer bar was purchased by Spanish developer Espacio USA, which is building two mixed-use towers at 1400 Biscayne Boulevard.
The first phase of the five-year project that Espacio unveiled last fall includes a 12-story space for offices and retail shops. The second phase is a 55-story tower with condo units, offices, restaurants and other retail space. A 10-story parking garage is also part of Espacio’s plans for the site.
After Saturday night, the DRB will move to another downtown location, at 501 NE 1st Ave., with plans to host a grand opening in mid-September.
The Manhattan’s future is less certain. Knobel said her mother may try to find another place for her restaurant.
“Right now, we’re focusing on packing everything up and saying goodbye to our customers,” she said.