The bayfront stretch in downtown Miami once was the home to a fleet of fishing boats. That all changed in April, 1987, 30 years ago.
That’s when Bayside Marketplace, a 16-acre retail and entertainment complex, opened between Bicentennial and Bayfront parks on Biscayne Boulevard.
The waterfront center — with a mix of chain retail, mom-and-pop souvenir stands, restaurants, including 77 minority-owned businesses — attracted tourists, cruise passengers and curious locals eager for a day out of the suburbs. A waterfront stage featured local musical acts. A food court beckoned from the second floor.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
Bayside has had its struggles through the years. Much of the food court cleared out. Smaller merchants had trouble paying the bills. A drop in the economy kept customers away.
The once sparkling marketplace faded.
But the salon-color collection of buildings along the bay has survived. And now it’s surrounded by a revitalized waterfront that includes neighbors AmericanAirlines Arena and Museum Park (with the art museum and soon-to-open science museum).
Now, Bayside Marketplace itself is getting a freshening-up for its 30 years in business, with new paint, lighting and landscaping.
From the Miami Herald archives here is a look back at opening day, April 8, 1987:
If Bayside were any user-friendlier, it would be up on morals charges. Even before the grand opening Wednesday was over, one thing was clear about the new shopping-dining complex at Miamarina: South Floridians have taken to it as if they were long-lost pals.
The place is a cross between a well-bred shopping mall and a good body massage. The layout of shops and restaurants, waterside decks and viewing porches, seems designed to capture the tropical light and marine breezes that have gone to waste for the most part for so many years along the city's shoreline.
Bayside embodies the tropical tip of the Florida peninsula. Its shops and restaurants have the sassy spirit of the Grove, the waterside beauty of Key Biscayne, the top-drawer panache of The Falls and Bal Harbour Shops, and the spontaneity that ought to be South Florida's middle name.
Wednesday afternoon, as an estimated 100,000 first-day visitors moved through stores still wet with paint and some entrepreneurs still wet behind the ears, it was obvious Bayside was a charmer. The charms were in its architectural detail: the thicket of colorful flags at the entrance; the mahogany-and- brass handrails; the playful neon directional signs in the parking garage; the tiled fountains; the potted and flaming orange hibiscus.
The charms were in a selection of foods so wide it defied imagination: oysters on the half shell; daiquiris at your fingertips; baked goods almost too sinfully rich to eat in public; lemonade by the bucket; spicy Cajun fries; shark kebab; and Kentucky bourbon burgers.
And the charms were on the shelves and picture windows: hand-made and hand-painted ceramics at Not Just Another Pretty Vase; applications for the "forget-me-not" club at Flowers By the Bay (sign up and they'll remind you of impending flower- giving days); and instant do-it-yourself gourmet lunches at Carmine's market.
A four-hour foray Wednesday afternoon through Bayside yielded the flashy and the functional, the services you'd expect from a well-run shopping mall and the surprises that elevate Bayside to something much more than that. Here is a sampling of Bayside's bounty, punctuated by a purely subjective score on an ascending scale of quality from one to four:
*** Live entertainment. (Free) A juggler mesmerized a crowd of 200 on a dock near Reflections. A Dixieland band entertained in a moveable feast of jazz. Miami crowds clearly are suckers for good street entertainers. Bayside's owners ought to bring in more and more often.
** 1/2 Let's Make a Daiquiri. An outdoor gazebo center stage at Bayside that cranks out alcoholic and nonalcoholic tropical drinks with the efficiency of a GM assembly plant. The banana daiquiri (14 ounces for $3.50) was a generous serving, with just enough rum but shy on the banana.
* Pay phones. They need more of them and in places where you can hear the voice on the other end.
* Noise. The level becomes abusive when the food hall is jammed with people. The echo of a baby's cry threatens to break the sound barrier.
** Latin American Bayside. The place was hopping, and it has bayside views that its mother ship cafeteria on Coral Way can only dream of. The midnight sandwich ($2.90) was hefty, crisp on the outside if a bit cold in the middle. The restaurant was a madhouse, simply because there were far more interested diners than square feet of restaurant.
*** Security and signs. There was a sufficient amount of both throughout the complex. Guards walked the parking garage and neighboring grounds. Help was always nearby. Bayside's attractive neon directories were sensibly situated and easy to read.
*** 1/2 Beverly Hills Burger, a child of South Florida's Beverly Hills Cafes, serves a burger ($2.99; $3.29 with cheese) it can be proud of, the meat lean, the bun some kind of wonderful. Long lines (averaging 15 minutes at 1 p.m.) were testimony to the popularity of the place. Second-story views of the water made the time fly by.
**** The spicy Cajun fries ($1.49) are exquisite.
*** Bergin's, offering what owner Kevin Bergin calls "a taste of the British Isles, " has 15 different beers on tap -- 12 of them imported -- as well as 14 wines served in small bottles. The Guinness came with a nice 1/2-inch head. No seating. Stand, sip and savor the views.
* 1/2 Restrooms. There were too few of them in the north pavilion and the ones in the food hall were already filthy 30 minutes after opening. They ought to get the same attention from janitors that the eating areas do.
**** A berry-berry yogurt sundae ($1.86) topped with coconut and strawberries at Everything Yogurt.
**** Three of the gourmet popcorns at Pops are extraordinary: "Miami Spice, " a BBQ-flavored creation; "sour cream and chives; " and pina colada. The stand will soon start serving a flavor of the week.
Here is a list of the stores and restaurants on opening day:
RETAIL OUTLETS Accessories
ACCENTUATE: A women's wardrobe accessory store specializing in what are advertised as "exclusive designs." (31)
ACCESSORY LADY: Featuring handbags, hosiery and other items. (6)
ADOBE GALLERIES: A gift shop specializing in accessories and unique items with a Southwestern U.S. flavor. (135)
CAMILLA HEPPER: Skin care store specializing in herbal, animal-free cosmetics from England. (48)
CASWELL-MASSEY: Grooming store featuring 1,300 perfumes, lotions, soaps, bath oils and other items -- mostly for women. Some selections for men will be available. (14)
DA VINCI JEWELERS: Specialty shop featuring fashion jewelry in 14-karat gold and other precious metals, as well as diamonds and semi-precious stones. (19)
DOTSON GIFTS & TRAVEL: Featuring travel accessories and gifts. (87)
FRANCA'S CHOICE: Women's accessories in leather and ceramics. Also featuring eel, crocodile, ostrich and frog-skin handbags. (127)
HATS IN THE BELFRY: Specializing in hats.
LILY'S COSMETICS: Skin-care shop specializing in exclusive women's fragrances and other cosmetics. (10)
RICCIARDI'S: Specialty shop featuring gold and silver jewelry. (73)
STATUS FAUX: High-fashion custom jewelry and accessories, including hats and gloves. (142)
SUNGLASS HUT: Optical sport and fashion sunglasses from such designers as Christian Dior and Vuarnet. (88)
SUNGLASS WORLD: Numerous styles of sunglasses. (43)
B. DALTON: Hardbacks, paperbacks, magazines and reading aids. (44)
BAYSIDE NEWSSTAND: Local, national and international magazines and newspapers, paperbacks, greeting cards, candy and tobacco products and health and beauty aids. (67)
BAYSIDE ONE-HOUR Camera supply shop also featuring rapid film developing. (90)
MUSICLAND: Record store including the latest musical hits, movies and electronic accessories. (46)
ALEXIA: A California-based women's shop specializing in natural fiber clothing in designs for accessories, sportswear and dresses. (36)
ATLANTIC CROSSING: Women's sportswear and accessories, specializing in unisex sportswear for children. (8)
AZTECA DE ORO: Handmade women's natural material fashions from Mexico and Latin America, featuring designs from Jasian and Irene Pulos. Also features accessories and exquisite artifacts. (39)
BAG 'EM ALL: Women's cotton clothing, one size fits all, presented in a cotton bag. (132)
BAREDS: Featuring unisex nautical sportswear and clothing including polo shirts, jogging suits and deck shoes. (9)
BAYSIDE T-SHIRTS: Specializing in shirts for children and adults with hand-painted, air-brushed and silk-screened Miami and Florida designs. (79)
BLANCO: Women's clothing with designs exclusively from Julia Holgado. All designs are in natural fiber and all of them are in white. Also includes avant-garde accessories. (129)
CASEY & OSH WORLDWIDE: Men and women's clothing store featuring casual and sportswear from around the world. (51)
COTTON COMFORT: Featuring color-fast, American-made, 100- percent cotton clothes. (3)
DE CLIC: Featuring imported unisex apparel. (41)
DIMITRI'S: Unisex sportswear. (126)
EXCESS: Clothing store specializing in women's sportswear. (11)
EXIT SHOPS: Women's clothing shop featuring imported and domestic apparel. (21)
FOUR WAY STREET: Clothing shop featuring 50s-influenced apparel, including jeans and all-cotton clothing.
FRILLZ: Women's specialty clothing shop featuring hand- painted, natural-fiber clothing. (72)
GRAVITY: Clothing store featuring sophisticated, contemporary sportswear for men. (38)
H.T. CHITTUM: A 5,500-square foot, free-standing specialty store featuring men and women's clothing and accessories from outdoorsman-style national labels (free standing).
INDIGO: Designer denims accentuated with sparkle, feathers, bows, etc. (128)
IVORY COAST TRADERS: Clothing store featuring safari-like, 100-percent cotton wear for men. (143)
KOALA BLUE: Australian fashions and accessories store featuring clothing originated by pop star Olivia Newton John. (57)
LADY FOOTLOCKER: Clothing store featuring women's and girl's athletic and casual clothing and accessories. (54)
LANE BRYANT: Franchise women's clothing store spread out over 5,214 square feet. (28) and 50)
THE LIMITED: Large franchise clothing store featuring women's and junior apparel in 8,259 square feet of space. (18) LIMITED EXPRESS: Women's clothing shop specializing in trendy, casual and sportswear.
LITTLE JOYS: Apparel and shoe store specializing in items for children. (25)
MAIA GOLANI: Exotic skin clothing and accessories shop for men and women. (34)
MARGARET'S: Fine apparel and accessories for the professional woman. (4)
MARK, FORE & STRIKE: Classic wear for men and women in a relaxed atmosphere. (23)
NATHANIEL & JAMES HABERDASHERY: Specializing in cotton shirts, 100-percent silk ties, belts and other accessories for men. (24)
RESORTWORKS: Franchise chain specializing in leisure wear, in a specially-decorated store, for men and women. The caps, rugby and polo shirts and other goods are all within the $15 to $50 range. (64)
RITCHIE'S SWIMWEAR: Innovative swim wear for juniors from different manufacturers. (81)
THE SPORT SHOP: Clothing store specializing in athletic wear and souvenirs with sports trademarks. (83)
SWIM 'N' SPORT: Junior and misses swim wear, patio wear and accessories. (55)
TRADITIONS LIMITED: Clothing store specializing in traditional women's clothing. (7)
TROCADERO: Clothing store specializing in women's fashions. (49)
TAXI: Oversized, brightly-colored 100-percent cotton sportswear for young men and women. (53)
VICTORIA'S SECRET: Clothing store specializing in lingerie (2)
ZEY'S TRUNK: Fashionable clothing store for children from infancy to size 6X. (134)
FOOTLOCKER: Franchise athletic shoes, and several lines of sports apparel and accessories. (47)
FOOTPLEASER: Unique, creative and trendy footwear. (56)
AMAZONIA: Specializing in crafts and artifacts from South America. (138)
ARTS OF ASIA: A gift and decorative shop with items from Bali, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand. (40)
AUTO MOTIFS: An "upscale auto boutique" for the serious auto lover providing fashions for adults and children, auto accessories, automobilia and other items. (86)
BACKROADS GALLERY: Art gallery featuring works for retail sale. (74)
BAYSIDE TO-GO: Specialty shop featuring items bearing the Bayside Marketplace logo. (137)
BETWEEN THE LINES: Shop specializing in greeting cards and other gift items. (65) THE BOUNTY: Gift shop attached to the movie replica of of H.M.S. Bounty, which is also available for tours. (free standing)
CONUNDRUM: Hobby shop featuring board games, puzzles and other adult and family-oriented games. (133)
GRAPHIKS: Art store featuring works from numerous artists as well as custom framing and shipping worldwide. (80)
ISLAND HOUSE AT BAYSIDE: Original Caribbean art and gift handicrafts, including voodoo altar clothing and sculptures from Haiti. (141)
KING'S RANSOM CIGARS: Smoke shop featuring premium imported and domestic cigars, some of which are hand-rolled in the store. (78)
THE PURPLE FROG: Featuring contemporary gifts and cards. (85)
PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ GIFT SHOP: Unusual gifts and cards in an art deco atmosphere.
SHARPER IMAGE: High-tech gifts. (27)
THAT'S SHOWBIZ: A unique collection of movie memorabilia, clothing, gifts, videos and posters.
WALT'S FLOWER STATION: Gift shop featuring numerous floral arrangements. (70)
ZOOKEEPER: Specialty shop featuring plush stuffed animals. (35)
BEYOND ELECTRONICS: Specializing in home audio and visual equipment. (84)
THE BRASS IMAGE: Solid brass accessories for the home, including collectibles showing nautical and marine life, wall sculptures and engraveables. (77)
BROOKSTONE: Unique, high-quality yet hard-to-find tools and gadgets. (59)
COCONUT GROVE HAMMOCKS: Imported hand-woven hammocks, rope furniture, tropical gifts and other accessories for outdoor life. (140)
HOT FLASH: Specializing in Sparkle Plenty brand tropical trendy tub toys, pools and patio accessories, beach toys, flamingos and other novelty items. (129)
MARGAUX: Home interiors store specializing in country French home accessories, silver, lace, dried-flower baskets and ceramics. (136)
MATO: Small shop featuring home furnishings. (15)
OPEN HOUSE: Specialty shop featuring a wide variety of tableware, China and fine gifts. (5) THE WOODWORKS: Gift shop featuring wood carvings from Panama and Costa Rica.
ANNA'S FRIED DOUGH: Desert shop specializing in kettle-fried dough glazed with any number of toppings. (104)
THE BAGEL EMPORIUM: A South Florida favorite, featuring bagels and deli foods. (116)
BAKER'S DELI: French deli sandwiches and croissants prepared on the premises, as well as fresh-baked products imported daily from France.
BAR-BALU: Restaurant and bar featuring exotic drinks and a Caribbean-American menu. (91 and 124)
BERGIN'S BEER AND WINE: Large selection of imported beer and fine wine from around the world, served in an elegant setting. (93)
BEVERLY HILLS BURGERS: Specializing in sirloin burgers, French fries and Texas-style chili. (94)
BIMINI BAY BROWNIES: Fresh brownies and other desserts made while you watch. (114)
CARMINE'S MARKET: A fresh produce and food market occupying the first floor of the South Pavilion and featuring prime meats, seafood and a raw bar, cheese and wine, gourmet foods, fresh fruit and vegetables. (62)
CHE PASTA!: Eatery featuring numerous pasta dishes. (98)
CHINESE GOURMET CAFE: Featuring gourmet Chinese food for health-conscious diners, including vegetables and other entrees prepared on the site daily. (122)
CHURROS CAFE: Featuring churros and Cuban coffee. (South Pavilion) COZZOLI'S PIZZA: The old favorite, featuring freshly baked New York style pizza made to order in large brick ovens. (123)
CREOLE JAZZ COOKER: The foods that helped make Louisiana famous, including jambalaya and Cajun fish and beef. (121)
EL GRANDE: Fast-food eatery featuring Latin dishes. (118)
EVERYTHING YOGURT/BANANAS: Frozen yogurt shop featuring nine natural toppings. Also an assortment of cold salads, and bananas with fruit shakes. (103)
FRANCO'S ICES AND CREAMS: Frozen dessert shop featuring ice cream and other snacks made before customers. (110)
THE FRENCH COUNTRY KITCHEN: Eatery featuring French cuisine.
FREQUENT FRYER: Eatery specializing in fried foods, including french fries and plantains. (101)
THE FUDGERY: Eatery featuring singing fudge-makers. (96)
HOT DOG EXPRESS: Hot-dog stand featuring a variety of hot dogs, sausages and wursts topped with homemade chili, fresh cheese, peppers and other delights. (111)
JACK'S OF LUMBARDT ST. CORNEDBEEF: Franchise shop from Baltimore featuring corned beef, pastrami, kosher hot dogs and other deli favorites. (106)
JARDIN BRESILIEN: Relaxing spot for French desserts, exotic drinks and Brazilian music. (66)
JERRY'S SUB SHOP: Franchise sub shop specializing in overstuffed sandwiches, always with everything on them. (108)
LAS TAPAS RESTAURANT-TAVERN: A large, free-standing restaurant featuring a full menu of dishes from Spain. (free standing)
LATIN AMERICAN AT THE BAY: Eatery, with some seating nearby, featuring Cuban food. (60)
LATIN AMERICAN DELI: Shop featuring cheeses, wines and packaged food from Latin America. (69)
LEE'S ICE CREAM: Dessert shop featuring homemade gourmet ice cream and waffle cones. (105)
LET'S MAKE A DAIQUIRI: Located just inside the gate, in the middle of the market square, this bar offers fresh frozen liquor drinks. (125)
LOS ANOS LOCOS: Restaurant specializing in Argentine cuisine, including empanadas, wine and parrillada or Argentine barbecue. (97)
MIAMI SEAFOOD BAR: Fresh seafood and spirits from a restaurant with view of Biscayne Bay. Sharkey's features fast- food fish specialties, a raw bar and a liquor bar. (99)
MICHELSA BAKERY: A Miami bakery featuring Cuban pastries baked on the premises, including guava pastelitos, Cuban bread and crackers. (61)
MIDDLE EAST CONNECTION: Foods including shishkebab, gyros, chicken and lamb, falafel and Oriental salads. (117)
MR. CONCH: Bahamian seafoods such as fried conch, conch fritters, shrimp kabobs, fried fish chunks, crab sticks, grilled fish and other specialties. (115)
PEACOCK CAFE: A gathering spot featuring a downtown view and contemporary continental and California cuisine. (58)
PETE'S FOUNTAIN & BAR: Ice cream and liquor dessert drinks. (71)
POPS: Eatery at which the customer can watch as popcorn is popped and carmelized. (117)
POTATOES 'N' MORE: Eatery featuring potatoes and toppings.
REFLECTIONS: An old favorite in updated surroundings. One of the complex's larger restaurants. (free standing)
SAVANNAH SMILES: One of the complex's larger eateries, specializing in Cajun and Southern cuisine served in a 1920s- 1920s atmosphere that includes jazz and rhythm and blues. (45)
TACOS AMIGOS: Specializing in a full line of Mexican food, including tacos, burritos, enchiladas and other treats. (113)
TAVERN ON THE BAY: Small cafe specializing in light food and snacks. (107)
WINGMASTERS: Eatery specializing in Buffalo chicken wings and other delicacies. (102)
And here is the Miami Herald guide to Bayside published before opening day:
Q. What is Bayside?
A. The Bayside Marketplace is a 16-acre shopping and entertainment complex that ultimately will include 174 retail stores, restaurants, fast-food counters and craft stalls. It wraps around Miamarina on Biscayne Bay at Fourth Street, sandwiched between Bayfront and Bicentennial Parks. It is privately developed by the Maryland-based Rouse Co. on city of Miami land.
Q. What can I do there?
A. Besides spending money, visitors can stop in at Bayside for its views of Biscayne Bay, the Port of Miami and Miamarina, which is being renovated. The H.M.S. Bounty, the ship used in the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, will be open for tours ($3.50 for adults, $1.50 for children). A second ship, the Heritage of Miami, also will be docked at Bayside.
The complex also will offer live shows both during the five-day grand opening and beyond. The entertainment includes concerts, strolling musicians, a "police" band, performers in bird costumes and other special events.
Q. What kind of shops are there?
A. The bulk of Bayside's space is devoted to shopping and eating, with stores offering auto accessories to hand-painted clothes. The stores include Koala Blue, a clothing shop originated by singer Olivia Newton-John; such South Florida standards as Exit Shops, Four Way Street and Ritchie's Swimwear; stores that sell "alternative cards, " hats, sunglasses, flowers, housewares, athletic wear, gadgets, electronics, toiletries and artworks.
The shops are divided into three main areas: the north pavilion, which houses the larger retail shops; a south pavilion that includes smaller shops and a food hall filled with fast food stalls and food markets; and the Pier Five Market at the project's center, which includes a series of market stalls and small pushcarts that specialize in craft items.
Q. How many stores will actually be open on opening day?
A. The Rouse Co. estimates that 65 to 70 percent of its merchants will make the opening. That means roughly 100 stores and restaurants. The rest are expected to open within a few months.
Q. What kind of food is there?
A. About half of Bayside is devoted to eating -- from fancy sit-down restaurants to a fast-food stall that specializes in hot dogs.
The complex has room for seven full-service restaurants and about 30 fast-food stalls that face an area with open seating for 1,000 diners. The main restaurants include a renovated Reflections on the Bay and Dockside Terrace, which specialize in seafood, a French/Brazilian cafe, a "tapas" eatery featuring Spanish appetizers, a southern restaurant, a Peacock Cafe similar to its namesake in Coconut Grove, and a regional American restaurant called Bar Balu. The fast-food operations, which include some national franchises, sell such items as ice cream, empanadas, Chinese food, Middle Eastern food, bagels, subs, creole food, pizza and raw seafood.
Q. How do I get there and where do I park?
A. City officials all offer the same piece of advice: leave your car at home and take public transportation — particularly the downtown Metromover, which costs a quarter, and stops about a block from Bayside's main entrance at the College Station, next to the New World Center campus of Miami- Dade Community College. Signs will direct visitors to Bayside's main entrance at Biscayne Boulevard and Fourth Street.
Bayside can be reached by driving east from downtown exits off Interstate 95. The center has its own 1,200-space garage, though it is expected to fill up early Wednesday. Eighteen city police officers will be on hand to direct visitors to alternate parking areas. (See separate story for further details).
Q. What kind of security will there be?
A. During regular operating hours, Bayside will provide its own 35-person security force. In addition, extra off-duty police officers and other security guards will be hired for the five-day opening, said Rouse vice president Lee Goldfarb. There will be 24-hour security within the complex and the Bayside garage is equipped with closed-circuit security equipment, Goldfarb said.
In addition, the city of Miami is assigning 16 full-time officers to police the marina and areas surrounding the complex. An additional 15 officers and three sergeants will be assigned for the five-day opening, many of them to work nighttime hours.
Q. How late will the complex be open?
A. Normal shop hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Many restaurants plan to stay open as late as 2 a.m. on weekends. During the five-day opening, operating hours will be flexible and depend on the size of crowds, said Rouse's Goldfarb. Beginning a week after the opening, Sunday operating hours will be from noon to either 6 or 8 p.m.
Q. What is there for children to do?
A. Children can take the tour of the Bounty, watch the ongoing entertainment, and spend their parents' money.
Q. What's scheduled for the five-day opening?
A. The opening festivities, which begin at noon on Wednesday, will continue through Sunday with nightly concerts and fireworks. Wednesday's activities include a Disney-style show featuring thousands of performers, a boat parade and balloon release. (See separate story for details of grand opening entertainment).
Q. How crowded will it be?
A. Bayside hopes to lure 14 million people over the course of a year. That breaks down to 3,200 people an hour. The average visitor is expected to stay 2 1/2 hours. Rouse officials won't say how many people they expect for the grand opening, but opening days at other Rouse projects have attracted 100,000 people.
Q. Where is the best place to watch the opening activities?
A. Rouse officials say entertainment will take place at a variety of places -- meaning there is no one spot that offers the best viewing. In addition, pedestrians may get a good glimpse of goings-on from the Port of Miami bridge, or from downtown office buildings overlooking the complex.
Q. Can I watch the festivities from a boat?
A. The waters around Bayside will be blocked off during the Wednesday morning and afternoon ceremonies to accommodate a parade of more than 70 boats from Fisher Island to the complex.
Q. Who can use the Miamarina?
A. The city will operate the Miamarina after Bayside's opening as a transient marina, said city marina specialist Al Rodriguez. Charter sailing and fishing boats should be available shortly after the opening.
Q. Can I go to Bayfront Park?
A. Only a small portion of Bayfront Park, the edge facing Bayside and Biscayne Boulevard, will be open for visitors. The rest remains under construction.
Q. Where are the facilities?
A. The main bathrooms are on the second floors of Bayside's two pavilions. There are additional facilities on the first floor and at the pier park at the edge of the marina.