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Friday, August 21, 2015

Furious over the Scotty's Landing story

It looks like the Scotty's Landing news has hit a nerve and it just might sway the District 2 Commission elections in the fall. The news of Scotty's changing hands has upset many even though I explained that Scotty's was not closing and it's just a shift of ownership. Grove Bay Investment Group will take it over in 60 days, but people are angry. 

A few people have been telling me that people are blaming the Sarnoff's for the whole debacle of selling out the Grove, secret RFPs, business with friends, etc. It is true that the majority of Coconut Grove voters voted against the project. The vote passed because other parts of the city voted and people who probably never stepped foot in Coconut Grove had a say in what goes on at our waterfront. But what's interesting about this turn of events is that people from all over the county are furious, and many from outside the state, too. They are talking about excessive greed and not wanting change any more in the Grove. Wish they had spoken up over the years, as we have lost so much of the character and charm, but it's heartwarming to see how people feel about Coconut Grove. I think people have finally had enough.

Our readership numbers on these stories are through the roof which proves how this has touched people. Both Scotty's Landing stories 
received thousands of views, and the stories posted on Facebook were shared  over 200 times! People are riled up. Local cities and communities, activists, citizens, all have shared the posts.  TV news and newspapers have picked up the story and reported it.

Some comments include: "Whatever they plan to build there will be overkill and mega concrete." "So sad how this city is run." "Anything to add more cement." "Greed destroying more of South Florida." " So sad ... a Grove landmark loosing against power of money for development of mega projects .. Scary how will our cities look like for our children?" And it goes on and on.

Local activist Charles Corda confirmed it in an email. He says that all of a sudden, people started signing the Stop Grove Harbour petition, which has expired already. 

It is still in the courts and there is still hope that the project will be voted down. 

Part of Charles' email says the following: 

"There is much we can do to prevent this type of abuse of power and privilege in the future. It is contingent upon us to VOTE in the coming November election. We must be sure that Sarnoff - this time his wife Teresa Sarnoff- does not get to continue the ill conceived and damaging policies of her husband.  

Over the next few months I will be addressing Sarnoff's horrendous legacy and consistent violation of the public trust,  in a series of emails that look very carefully at his claims and what he has actually done to benefit his financial supporters while simultaneously lowering our quality of life .   

Miami will not survive four more years of Sarnoff.

Coconut Grove will not survive four more years of Sarnoff."

But the Sarnoff's have been giving out dog leashes with their name on it and dog lovers all over the Grove like it. That seems to be what was important according to word on the street. But now the tide may be turning. Scotty's Landing and Grove Harbour may be their downfall and not just Grovites are upset this time.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Blogger jwilloughby46 said...

This is what is wrong with the Grove. But not in the way you think. It's what is wrong with the Grove in the fact that Scotty's is a dump, with food that is bad and overpriced. The only two things that are good about it are the view and the fact that you can bring your dog. They're trying to change it for the better, and all the gadflies are coming out of the woodwork to try and stop it. Scotty's may of been nice 15 years ago, but it's not now. The only thing that upset me about the original article is that the new place would be keeping Scotty's staff. Every time we have been there the waitstaff was surly at best, acting like they were doing us a favor by being there. Look, I'm all for keeping some traditions from the Old Grove. But not ones that are obviously broken. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Scotty's owe a ton of money in back rent? How is that ok?

August 21, 2015 7:24 AM  
Blogger Vic said...

Tom, this is why, and I think I speak for many fellow Grovites, it would be great if you would endorse one of the many candidates for District 2 Commissioner. If it happens to coincide with someone Al Crespo or Charles Corda would also endorse, we might have a chance at displacing the nightmare that is Sarnoff. Grovites look to you and others that are better informed than we are for guidance and the only chance we have of getting out of this rut is for some serious consensus. Help us out.

Vic Sopeña

August 21, 2015 8:43 AM  
Blogger Left Lane With The Blinker On said...

jwilloughby46, how much did they pay you to post your comment that has nothing to do with the issues?

If you don't like Scotty's, don't go! I love it and I do go. Is your reasoning that id someone doesn't like it (you), it should be seized by the city and replaced? I suspect your neighbors might want a similar policy in your neighborhood.

Socialism only looks good when you agree with its aims.

August 21, 2015 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As recent implant without the bias of having been here for the "old grove days", I stopped by Scotty's last night to see about all the hubbub. I have to agree, it's a dump with bad, overpriced food and service. More of a dive bar on the water (which is fine if that's what people want). But, between this place and the Sandbar,etc. is this the wonderful nostalgia and vibe everybody wants to keep alive? This happens all the time with restaurants who get a name and get lazy. As an outsider, it appears to me that the Grove is in desperate need of some revitalization. Move on, time for a change.

August 21, 2015 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

We woke a sleeping Dragon!
I agree with Tom. Over 1000 people have viewed the petition to "STOP GROVE HARBOR" and about 200 more people have signed it in the last 36 hours!

The 'Petition" has basically been dormant since the vote of Grove Harbor. BUT..People have not forgotten.. and they hold Sarnoff personally responsible.

The anger over this issue is palpable.This is clearly not about Scotty's.. its about Sarnoff.

I have received scores of emails since the Scotty's license revocation letter was made public. Each and every one saying the same thing..Sarnoff is the culprit. Sarnoff is responsible for all that is wrong with Coconut Grove, Sarnoff is responsible for all that is wrong with Miami and Sarnoff is responsible for all that is wrong with Miami Government. People clearly see what Sarnoff has been up to and want him out!..

From what I hear and read, Sarnoff is done..He's washed up.
His political career is over.

It's payback time.

Adios Marc Sarnoff..and good riddance.

August 21, 2015 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Grove Bay Investment Group will take it over in 60 days, but people are angry."

But guess WHY.

Everyone would love it if GBI or whatever new owner takes Scotty's, preserving its original CHARACTER (i.e. unpretentious, tikibar type of unique style, etc), while improving on its obvious flaws.

If the new owners could Preserve that, and offer better quality food for the same or lower price, cleaner premises, colder beverages, nicer wooden chairs (still rustic style) and more variety in live music (pleauzzzzzzze!! same lousy 2 bands in years, since the Solar Dogs were kicked out), all of that would be great.

What most people DON'T want is to lose something truly unique, another Grove Classic, one of a kind in Miami, much like Jimbos was. If they can IMPROVE it, great!

What we do NOT want is another friggin' Montys or Don Shula or Bayfront Joint, There are THOUSANDS of the same chain restaurants, mall-type crap everywhere in Miami.

And yes, let's get rid of the Sarnoffs endless dynasty. Maybe some new blood like Ken Russel or whomever can begin to comprehend such simple concepts.

August 21, 2015 9:24 AM  
Blogger James said...

Dear Left Lane,

You and your fellow "Old Grovites" wonder why none of us young people get involved with the process. Could it be that the moment we disagree with one of your opinions and have a thought of our own you resort to insults? That's not a very good way to be inclusive, but unfortunately it's typical for the Grove.

August 21, 2015 10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jwilloughby46, funny story...Scotty's is often packed. People come to have a drink and enjoy the atmosphere.

Most people understand the service issues. That is not a reason to shut down one of the most beloved places in Miami.

And Scotty's has said they would, FINALLY, upgrade the kitchen if they would be allowed. The Kitchen has been, in the past, disgusting. But this is a FIXABLE issue.

If people want South Beach, go to South Beach. If they want cheesy, soulless chain, they can go most anywhere, like Bayside. But there is only one Coconut Grove in the world. And if we don't fight to keep it, very soon it will be gone, and this is one of the final nails in the coffin.

August 21, 2015 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles Corda, U, having mentioned SARNOFF'S name 9 times, in a rant, are exhibiting idolatry; admiration, respect, holiness, worship, iconoclasm - - - - at the least, an obsession!? Sarnoff isn't gone, isn't going anywhere, he's just moving another rung up ladder. What rung are you stagnated on? For you perhaps there is no life without SARNOFF'S.

August 21, 2015 11:03 AM  
Blogger James said...


In my opinion, Scotty's is packed sometimes, in spite of itself rather than because it's Scotty's. The location is good. Any place would be successful there. And to believe Scotty's would upgrade is disingenuous at best. It's been a dump for so long, and now that they're finally going to kick him out is when he decides to be willing to fix the place up? There is opportunity at that spot. They can change it for the better without losing the feel of "Coconut Grove". I don't know when the feel of "Coconut Grove" was decided to be run down and decrepit, but that is what Scotty's is.

August 21, 2015 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

Re Anon 11:03..
You are absolutely Correct.
Make no mistake about it..My mission in life until election day will be to insure that Sarnoff is unceremoniously booted out of office. He has done more damage to our home then any single individual has ever done in the history of Miami and Coconut Grove.
You can tell your buddy that is what I will live for ...for the next 2/12 months. It is my mission..the very purpose of my being...the reason and focus of every breath I take until election day. It's Payback Time..Sarnoff must go!.

I hope that clears up any doubts you may have about where I stand on this issue.

Thank you, CRC

August 21, 2015 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Charles, the way Sarnoffs are raising money it is sure they will get elected, they may be nearing the $200 per voter mark winning with 4500 votes

August 21, 2015 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, what most on this blog and many within the community who have an opinion on the use of the City's waterfront miss is that this is not about whether Scotty's serves good food or has an "Old Grove" aesthetic or nostalgic feel, it is about the City's STEWARDSHIP of the taxpayer's property and assets, which in this case it how manages it's irreplaceable waterfront real estate.

It is the City's abuse and mismanagement of the process of identifying what is the highest and best use for a property and negotiating terms that are in the best long term interest of the property owner - the taxpayer - not the Commissioners, Mayor, City Attorney or government employees. Having said that, it doesn't always mean that the best use or tenant is that which pays the most money to the City.

Those decisions should be made with significant public community input and value should be ascribed to a range of variables related to the site and proposed use, such has the historic value of the existing improvements, does it "fit" with adjacent uses and the immediate community, does it use benefit a broad or narrow group of interests, are there indirect benefits to the community beyond revenue to the General Fund, etc, etc.. Unfortunately, the City has evidenced a very poor track record regarding their stewardship of it's waterfront assets.

Beyond the fiasco of Scotty's and the Grove Harbor RFP, one has only to look how the City negotiated the lease deals for the Flagstone Project on Watson Island (10 years behind schedule) or the Bayside lease renewal and expansion/Skyrise sublease, the Atlantica delinquent, non-paying lease on Virginia Key, the proposed Miami International Boat Show lease (I could go on and on, unfortunately). Private individuals and companies control valuable real estate under license agreements and leases that are written to their benefit and gain, not the owner-taxpayer.

The focus needs to be on the City Manager, City Attorney and the City's Department of Public Facilities and Asset Management and then what influence our Commissioners and Mayor are having on the RFP process. Furthermore, we need to follow the strictures of the City Charter which spell out the terms under which we can enter into leases for waterfront properties. If you don't like how the laws are written, then change them but don't flout them with a concocted convoluted legal opinion (thank you Victoria Mendez for your willingness to accommodate) that only invites law suits and delays. Don't attack the citizen "activist" for attempting to assure that the law and rules are adhered to but rather the City for their willingness to disregard and violate them outright. Unfortunately, the recent court case decisions are more an example of the citizen activist be out-lawyered rather than the City being right. At the end of the day, we need a City government and Commission who enlists the participation of it's citizens and the community in the management and stewardship of the City's assets. We can not allow the opinion and influence of a few (read District 2 Commissioner, staff and close associates) to dictate what occurs in our city and sadly their fingerprints are all over the above mentioned deals. If you want change, then now is a great time for a change.

August 21, 2015 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@2:46 - the only thing your comment lacked was brevity. You are spot on. The city has given away tax payer land, without just compensation for years in return for what I can only call cash bribes, the laundering of which a child could understand.

The issue of Scotty's however, is not the hill I'm going to die on. Scott has not put one cent into that place in a decade, and if he had all the time in the world, he never would. He makes his money from the boats, not the beers, and he could give 2 sh*ts that he's been serving you fools roaches and mold for more than a decade.

August 21, 2015 3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some of the posters above who defend what is hapening to Scotty's MAY live in the Grove, but they don't know or understand the Grove. And they would be much happier in Aventura or Miami Lakes or some other antiseptic, bleached out fairyland of tidy restaurants serving prefab food by smiling Stepford wait staff. THEY would be much happier there. And WE Grovites would be MUCH happier to have them gone. And PLEASE take ALL Sarnoffs and Sarnoff apologists with you.

August 21, 2015 5:14 PM  
Blogger James said...

Anon at 5:14:

Because we like food served in a clean atmosphere with friendly staff we're not real Grovites? And like I said before, why do "real Grovites" display such negativity to people who disagree with them? Move to Aventura? Why do you have more rights in Coconut Grove than I do? Again, if you want people to join your cause, name calling is not the way to do it.

August 21, 2015 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Court deals blow to lawsuits challenging Grove Bay project

The Third District Court of Appeal issued two rulings Friday that dealt blows to lawsuits seeking to stop a planned redevelopment of Grove Key marina and Coconut Grove landmark Scotty’s Landing.

The court — ruling just days after Grove Bay Investment Group notified the city of Miami in writing that it plans to take control of the city’s eight-acre, waterfront property next to City Hall — denied motions to rehear two lawsuits by Grove businessman Stephen Kneapler, who sought to block the $18 million redevelopment project the city awarded to Grove Bay. The court also declined to clarify a previous ruling against a third suit filed by activist and city commission candidate Grace Solares.

The plaintiffs — who lost appellate decisions in May — are expected to appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. But Friday’s orders were an important victory for developers Eddy Garcia and Giraldo Leyva Jr., who in 2013 secured a city deal to build three new restaurants, renovate two historic Pan Am hangars and add in a public baywalk and pier.

August 21, 2015 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Robin Parker said...

Marc Sarnoff was elected to represent and work for the goals of those who elected him. He has ignored this sacred obligation and has gone to work for the goals of those who did not elect him or live here. Marc and his financial backers see the Grove as a wasteland brimming with opportunity and financial gain. We see it as our home. We don't need another Bayside in the Grove! He has abused the public's trust and is now exploiting his wife in his self serving misconduct. Shameful!

August 21, 2015 7:13 PM  
Blogger REinMIA said...

Groveites seem to be a nasty lot judging by these posts. Maybe the spoiled food at Scotty's is to blame!

August 22, 2015 4:19 AM  

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