Along with Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive, Española Way is one of South Beach’s most iconic streets. It also happens to be the most historic. Conceived in the 1920s by NBT Roney (of the ever-fabulous Roney Palace Condominium on 23rd Street) and William Whitman whose family would go on to develop Bal Harbour Shops, the street was designed with a Mediterranean Revival aesthetic to resemble artist villages like Montmartre in Paris and Greenwich Village in New York City. Through the years, the street crawling with bougainvillea has also been immortalized in films like The Birdcage and Miami Rhapsody.
While the pedestrian thoroughfare has largely been relegated to tourists in recent years, the city just invested $2.5 million in its beautification and developer Scott Robins is intent on making it more relevant for everyone. Here’s what’s new on Española Way and why you might want to swing by on your next South Beach outing.
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1. $2.5 Million Beautification
While it might not be totally obvious to the untrained eye, the city threw down $2.5 million to spruce up the quaint South Beach street lined with Mediterranean-style pink stucco facades and terra cotta tiled roofs. The improvements, unveiled in early June, include new Roman decorative pavers, level sidewalks, bollards and updated landscaping and string lighting.
2. El Paseo Hotel
El Paseo Hotel opened at the beginning of the year to join the long established Clay Hotel as a budget-friendly option (rates start around $119 per night) for a charming stay in the heart of South Beach. Spanning seven villas, the 71-room limited service hotel extends the length of Española Way with spacious guest rooms and suites featuring romantic Juliet balconies overlooking the street scene below.
3. New Restaurants
One of Española Way’s biggest draws is its wealth of world cuisine (A La Folie tucked away at the far western end is my personal favorite). In just a couple of short blocks, you can dine on everything from Spanish to French, Cuban, Italian, Japanese, Brazilian and Mexican food.
A couple of new restaurants have been added to the mix. Mare Mio is the followup to Claudio Giordano’s popular Lincoln Road eatery, the now defunct Altamare. It specializes in local seafood, organic meats and homemade pasta. Additionally, Mercato della Pescheria is a Las Vegas transplant focusing on seafood and Italian fare.
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4. Free Yoga
Mark your calendar for Saturday August 26 at 9 a.m. for the debut of Yoga a la Española when Miami’s oldest yoga studio, Synergy Yoga, whose original studio was located on Española Way, hosts a free outdoor class. Classes are planned to repeat monthly, so stay tuned.
5. Monthly Events
Starting in September, Española Way plans to launch the monthly Dog Days of Summer nights when pet owners are encouraged to bring their four-legged friends to the pedestrian street for an evening dog-centric activities benefitting the Humane Society of Greater Miami.
Noche de Coche (Night of Cars) is a family-friendly monthly event also planned to launch in September where little ones can bring their tricycles and scooters for a fun, carnival-like atmosphere. Kids under age 10 eat free and special three-course prix fixe menus will be available for adults at select restaurants.