Letters to the Editor

Creating a new reality in Coral Gables

Over the past few weeks, there have been many different opinions circulating about the real-estate renaissance taking place in Coral Gables.

In the 11 years that I’ve operated and owned a restaurant in the City Beautiful, I have learned quite a few things about what it takes to be viable in this town.

The Gables is a unique community with loyal and passionate residents. However, what we also have is a central business district that is predominately bankrolled by commuters and non-residents. The dramatic decrease in foot traffic that takes place on nights and weekends is undeniable, and asking a restaurant owner to be profitable on a 40-hour workweek is unthinkable.

We need to build on the Gables’ incredibly strong foundation and bring new dining, entertaining and shopping options that will attract more than just Gables loyalists.

We want millennials, young professionals, the vacationers, the hip and cool crowd to shop, wine and dine on our city streets. We want them not because we need their approval or our own validation; we want them because it’s good business to appeal to more than just the traditionalists.

Significant strides by city leadership to bridge this gap are well under way with the Streetscape project and other improvements that will resurrect the downtown corridor so it can once again thrive as the vibrant hub it was always intended to be. I have faith in our current leaders to keep it classy, but contemporary, and I hope our community can extend them the same trust.

Once these improvements are in place, we’ll be creating and celebrating a new tradition, a new reality — one that cultivates a generation that wants to live, work, learn and play in Coral Gables.

Cheers for a noble nod to the past and an energized fist-bump to the future.

Wayne Eldred,

owner, Tarpon Bend,

Coral Gables