After almost two decades in business, Lincoln Road mainstay Van Dyke Café is closing.
Rumors have persisted for years — and as recently as early December — that the popular people-watching and jazz-listening establishment at 846 Lincoln Rd. was closing to make way for more retail. Though the rumor was shot down a few weeks ago, publicist JennyLee Molina on Friday confirmed the news.
Still unclear: what will open in the restaurant’s place, and whether the Van Dyke Café will reopen elsewhere.
Molina said the business will find out its closing date by the end of January.
The historic Van Dyke building, which was built in 1924 by developer Carl Fisher, sold to a subsidiary of Crown Acquisitions of New York for $16 million last summer.
In an October interview with the Miami Herald, Van Dyke co-owner Graziano Sbroggio said the sale of the building triggered rumors about the closure of that and other Lincoln Road restaurants he co-owns, including TiramesU and Spris.
“In all our Lincoln Road locations we have a good standing lease,” he said at the time. “We feel part of the growth of Lincoln Road.”
But in recent years, as real estate costs have soared, several longstanding businesses and restaurants have closed on the pedestrian mall. 50 Eggs CEO John Kunkel, owner of just-off-Lincoln Road restaurants Khong River House and Yardbird, responded to the Van Dyke news on Twitter.
“Had to happen no restaurant can afford $300 per sqft! Thats right 300++ a sqft on Lincoln Rd,” he wrote. He predicted that the restaurant scene will grow off the main strip, but warned that even there, costs are “not cheap!”