Food & Drink

Epicure Market to close in Coral Gables

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Epicure’s CEO.

Epicure Gourmet Market & Café is closing its Coral Gables store at 4711 Le Jeune Rd. after a year and a half in business, a manager confirmed Sunday.

The 24,000-square-foot upscale market, complete with a bakery, butcher counter, juice bar, cheese case, prepared foods and 5,000-bottle wine display, opened in December 2013.

The Coral Gables store struggled to find its customer base. Fewer than 50 shoppers had been in on Sunday by mid-afternoon, according to an employee, who said the store’s shutdown was imminent.

The original Epicure opened in 1945 at 1656 Alton Rd. in Miami Beach, and a second opened in 2008 at 17190 Collins Ave. in Sunny Isles Beach; both of those locations are set to remain open.

Attempts to reach CEO Jason Starkman, whose family took ownership of the Epicure brand in 1998, were unsuccesful.

UPDATE (June 29): Starkman sent the following statement:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Grove, Gables, Pinecrest and all of the other South Miami neighborhoods for their continued support, not only throughout the past couple years, but their long-lasting relationship with Epicure for the past half century and more.

“While we tried everything possible to succeed in the Gables, the numbers just weren't working out.

“On a more positive note, our original store in South Beach and our second store in Sunny Isles are alive and kicking as usual and are ready to serve our customers from the South Miami areas. We look forward to continuing the tradition of Epicure long into the future and serving all of our loyal and dedicated customers for years and years to come.”

UPDATE TWO (June 30): The market has closed, as of Tuesday.

Evan S. Benn is Miami Herald food editor. On Twitter and Instagram: @EvanBenn.