Is it possible that restaurants will accomplish what 50-story condominiums could not? That is, to transform downtown Miami from a port of call for cruise ship passengers and employees into an actual neighborhood.
In the past year or two, there has been an influx of quality restaurants, some more casual (Wok Town) than others (Tre, Ceviche 105). But in the last few weeks, three new spots have opened: First and First Southern Baking Company, Sandwich Bar, and Sparky’s Roadside Barbecue. They all emphasize homemade dishes and fresh ingredients, they provide a casual atmosphere for a quick but satisfying lunch, and they each have personality.
That eclectic vibe that permeates other downtown areas has never been able to break through in Miami, having to fight for space alongside the electronic stores, the fake luggage stores (Spamsonite? Me thinks not), the watered-down perfume shops, the Ultramont Mall(!). So here’s hoping that the restaurants get the support they need from all of those new downtown residents I’ve read so much about and that a neighborhood bar or two opens up. After that, all you’ve got to do is make Flagler pedestrian-only and downtown Miami will be saved. Easy as 1-2-3.