Call it an estate sale for a recently deceased Miami Beach icon.
The owners of Epicure Market, who shuttered the 72-year-old Miami Beach gourmet market less than two weeks ago, will auction off everything inside Wednesday morning — from baking equipment and appliances to a wine collection valued at $175,000, according to the auction company.
“Everything in like new condition,” states the Jay Sugarman auction house website, which will handle the sale. A preview of the auction begins at 9:30 a.m., and bidding will begin at 11 a.m., online and in person at the store, 1656 Alton Road.
The sale is broken up into five lots, the most tantalizing of which to former customers might be Epicure’s extensive wine list. Photos of the general inventory show sticker prices above $100 for some bottles, which include wines from France, Italy, Chile, Spain and Portugal. Even the wine racks are for sale, the site says.
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“NOTE: All wines stored properly,” the website states.
Customers, and especially former employees were shocked to learn the South Beach market, a favorite among locals and visiting celebrities dating to 1945, announced it was closing in a tweet three days after Hurricane Irma. The tweet blamed power loss from the storm for a loss of inventory, but owners said slumping sales and companies clamoring for its 20-year sublease were the driving factors.
“It’s prime real estate,” owner Jason Starkman told the Miami Herald on Sept. 15. “The business itself doesn’t make sense to run. It’s just not making money.”
Employees first heard about the closing from the tweet. Many received a letter dated Sept. 21 with their final paycheck. Neither medical, dental nor COBRA benefits would be available, the letter stated.
“Thanks for 9 years wasted,” a former employee, Joval Valdivia, posted on Facebook, along with a letter.
The late Eddie Thal founded the market with brother Leonard in 1945 after taking over a butcher shop the Army Air Corps had commandeered during World War II. Epicure was the one place on a then-sleepy South Beach where you could buy ingredients from all 50 states and from around the world, plus buy prepared food that rivaled home-cooked meals.
In 1998, the Thals sold the business to the Starkman family, which attempted to expand Epicure’s brand with stores in Coral Gables and Sunny Isles, before those eventually closed.