August 13, 2007

Bicentennial Park: Restaurant

Probably the biggest surprise for me during my recent visit to Bicentennial Park was the discovery of a restaurant there. Well, concession stand. But a very large one.

It's closed, of course.

But here's the first image of it: the kitchen/service counter on the right, and the seating area just beyond the trees:

This is the concession stand; it's quite large, the service counter is about 20 feet long. Restrooms are included in this building (sealed now).
The underhang is now home to any number of the homeless. The restrooms sealed off, they've been relieving themselves in the recesses. Piles of their belongs are strewn underneath. I didn't take pictures of the service counters because I didn't want to incite the locals. You can see a man sleeping under the trees to the right of this photo; there were several more around.

The seating area:
The tables and chairs have been stripped; I don't know if the city did it, or if the homeless stripped them for firewood. This area used to have a roof over, but decay made it ripe for a hurricane to rip it down, and I've heard Wilma did just that.

Several men and a woman were drinking beer and grilling sausages. I don't know if they are homeless, but the grill setup looks like it's been there awhile. I don't know what this structure actually is; probably some sort of equipment bay.

The View:
This restaurant has an incredible view of the waterway; you can watch the cruise ships turn around and depart for the Caribbean, and there was a constant flow of boat traffic. And yet it's very quiet and peaceful. This should be a "best-kept secret" sort of place.

This restaurant was open when the park opened; there were very little interest in running it. When someone finally did agree to run it, they were murdered in front of a lunch crowd by a gang just a few weeks after opening.

Times have changed, and downtown is booming. I'd like to see the Park Department make a deal to re-open this restaurant; help a prospective tenant clean it out and set it up. I want to have breakfast in front of this view.


  1. What, he burned the toast? The picnic crowd can be tough,

  2. dear dear dear

    this was the remains of a restaurant from years ago when the owners throat was cut....that was the beginning of the end for the park...

  3. What great pictures and discriptions. It sounds like something you need to design. Who owns the property? And how much could it be purchased for...perhaps an investment property?

  4. Hi, vickie!
    The property is currently owned by the City of Miami; it's part of Bicentennial Park, so purchasing isn't an option.
    As for designing it, they've got a plan for the entire park. If you check out some of the blogs in my sidebar, you'll read a lot about those plans.
    I've been visiting the site and taking pictures of it, to help promote an understanding of what those plans really mean for the park.