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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Stop the presses; Scotty's is NOT closing

We received a lot of play on the yesterday's Scotty's Landing story. Let me clarify what is going on, I spoke with Ron Nelson, chief of staff of Commissioner Sarnoff. Scotty's is NOT closing. I misunderstood the information that was sent to me. We must have received about 30,000 clicks on the Scotty's story yesterday and people were calling the Commissioner's office complaining about what they read here in the Grapevine.

What's going on is this: The new tenant is taking over in 60 days. Current owner Scotty Wessell and his company must vacate Scotty's in 60 days, but the restaurant will operate as usual. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

The current Scotty's will operate while the new Scotty's (or whatever it's called) is built behind the current location, then when the new Scotty's is built, the staff and crew will move over to the new location and the old location will be torn down. Bay views will still be there, only a few feet back, as the old Scotty's will make way for a public bay walk.

The Chart House will be knocked down because the new restaurant is being built on that exact location, so that must go and there will be a gap between the old and new restaurant on that location only.

The Marina will remain open at this time.

But again, it will be like turning on a switch - the old Scotty's won't close until the new Scotty's is open.

I apologize again for the confusion. It really was a non-story that ended up being blown way out of proportion. 

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it is closing.why the apologies?

August 20, 2015 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It still is a story, because it is the beginning of the end. The "new" Scotty's will destroy the old, and bring yet another piece of craptastic South Beach to the Grove, when no one outside of Condo people & Sarnoff's friends wanted it.

It's not the views, it's where you are viewing them from.

August 20, 2015 11:12 AM  
Anonymous al crespo said...


I would beg to differ with you. Scotty's Landing, operated by Scott Wessel is closing, as per the letter cancelling the Revocable License. That "the new tenant" is taking over, can mean many things including changes of menu, housekeeping, etc., but a new company, operated by new people will be operating a restaurant on the property. So in that regard, the information that I posted, and that you and others reported on is factually correct.

More importantly is the question of why is this happening now, and with such speed. I've been told by someone close to the new tenants, and it is something that obviously also caught Scott Wessel by surprise, as per the comments issued by his attorney, that they did not expect this to happen in this way.

Supposedly, Scotty's was supposed to operate under the current Revocable License until most of the other construction - including the new restaurant was built - and then it would have been a seamless transfer. Obviously someone(s) wanted Scott Wessel out of the way sooner rather than later, and they managed to get the City to support their desire to move Wessel out, and let them take over.

As with all things having to do with District 2 - especially during the last months of Commissioner "Ethics" term, you can be sure that there is more to the back story than anyone has been able to find out so far.

As Tomas Regalado so famously stated a couple years ago, "All deals in Miami are bad deals," and it looks like this deal has turned bad for Scott Wessel.

August 20, 2015 11:13 AM  
Blogger Tom Falco said...

Al, I was told by Ron Nelson that the place is staying open while the new place is built. There are going to be no changes. As to why they transferred it now rather than later. Who cares? It was going to happen. Anything would be an improvement to Scotty's food and service. I honestly didn't even know they were still open. I thought they were closed all this time.

If lawsuits prevail, then the new owners are stuck with old Scotty's, they lose in the end, so the whole thing is a gamble.

August 20, 2015 11:18 AM  
Blogger Darkness said...

I agree!!! That place is HORRIBLE! Went there once, service was horrible; and had to sit amongst dogs. As for the food; couldn't tell you!! because after two hours of waiting food still had not come out of the kitchen. We left and went to Montys (which was great). Besides, if I wanted to eat amongst dogs, I would go to the kennel for lunch. I'm surprised they hadn't closed years ago.

August 20, 2015 1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the commissioner is planning to run a canine only restaurants in his golden years

August 20, 2015 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Darkness...So I assumed that you were forced to "eat amongst dogs." That is like saying one is forced to eat Chinese food in a Chinese restaurant.Its's animal friendly and it was your choice. And a 2 hr wait for food..I doubt it ! As for the food..I am sure most people go for the view since Miami has relatively few restaurants on the water for some reason...

August 20, 2015 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that Scotty Wessel has run the restaurant into the ground. it doesn't look like he's put a dime into the place while talking out well over a million dollars a year. In spite of the run down and filthy appearance Wessel still was/is making a load of money off it. In my opinion, Wessel doesn't deserve to keep it especially in light of his support for the new Grove Harbor prior to the vote ( Remember his letter in support of the new development..?)

In any event no matter what happens with the lawsuits the new people- "Grove Key Marina" / Grove Harbor now have a serious money making restaurant that they will run and make lots of money from for as long as they have it. If te lawsuits fail and the build the Mall they knock down Scotty's. If the lawsuits are successful in stopping "Grove Harbor" Scotty's will remain..for the foreseeable future.

If the Lawsuits prevail and "Grove Harbor " is stopped they still get to keep "Scotty's" under this license agreement until such time as the next District 2 Commissioner and the Entire Commission might seek to revoke their license. I would hope that is the scenario that unfolds..the "mall" and bars and restaurants and banquet hall are stopped a a new operator gets to run Scotty's.

In point of fact even though a number of people, including my friend Al Crespo, have expressed reservations about Steve Kneapler from Monty's Restaurant, Kneapler has done a great job running Monty's. He may have a checked past but he knows how to run a restaurant like Monty's... and like Scotty's. I for one would much prefer a guy like Kneapler running Scotty's then the Grove Harbor People..

August 20, 2015 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a non-story. The company that applied for the RFP, offered the best option and the most income for the City of Miami and has the funds to develop this project just wishes to get started. Everyone knows they have this right and everyone knows this day was forthcoming. So the act of requesting a public document from the City of Miami is hardly what a real journalist would call “investigative reporting”. It’s actually more like “making a mountain out of molehill”. Those malcontents and muckrakers that only see the worst in our community are just trying to stir up trouble to satisfy their own egos. Perhaps they could have organized and applied for the RFP themselves. They should have demonstrated their expertise and ability to raise the required funds to develop what they think is best. Or they could have put up a plan and funds to keep things as they are and even provide free food and beer, if that is what they think is best for the Grove. But alas they only criticize, because it’s so much easier to destroy then to create.

August 20, 2015 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ron. You make some good points as always. Wish you were working for the other side - the taxpayer, if you didn't get it. Maybe, if everyone knew that the Scotty's property was going to be available then we would have had that opportunity but, as you know Ron, everyone didn't know. As a matter of fact, hardly anyone knew other than the close associates of your boss, District 2 Commissioner Sarnoff. Although it makes logical sense to let the RFP winner set up operations so he can seamlessly transfer his operations and staff to the new location once it's built, as you've suggested. They and the public will not miss a beat. No downtime, perfect. Except that the Grove Harbor folks may not prevail in their lawsuit and so would have no claim or position relative to any future RFP for Scotty's or the balance of the property. Also, if properly marketed and advertised, you might get a better tenant willing to pay the city more money and deliver a superior product to what is being proposed by the Grove Harbor folks (not saying Shula's is so bad but it could be so much better). The mismanagement and manipulation of the Grove Harbor RFP process is a great example of the City of Miami government's corruption, greed and ineptitude. How can anyone defend an RFP process that results in 2 bid responses in the 1st round and only ONE bid response for the 2nd round. BTW, 2 + 1 does not equal 3 respondents, which is what the City of Miami Charter requires, as you and your boss know full well. So, I'd suggest that this Scotty's "molehill" is a bit bigger than you would suggest and deserves all the light of day that "investigative reporting" can shed.


August 20, 2015 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

Anon 5:42- You're right- its much easier and far more profitable to "destroy"- In this case 'destroy" our rare and irreplaceable bayfront with a mall and unnecessary bars and restaurants and banquet halls ..and a monstrous garage.
it is easier to "destroy' Coconut Grove by trying to turn it into South Beach or some other place it is not rather than protect it's unique and special qualities..
it is easier to "Destroy" our quality of life by bringing more traffic noise and pollution to our neighborhoods..
it is easier to "destroy" all that is good about Miami by promoting irrational unplanned development.
You're right it is easier to "destroy" than to preserve our green spaces, park lands and bayfront, protect endangered environments and enhance our quality of life.
It is easier to destroy.

August 20, 2015 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We deserve a brand new Kentucky Fried Chicken on the next Mall.

August 20, 2015 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.

August 20, 2015 9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles Corda or should I say "Dim witted" . The Grove would be better off if it were like S. Beach. S. Beach is vibrant, full of interesting personalities and bucks flowing over the rim.

August 20, 2015 9:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


August 20, 2015 10:08 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

WOW!!!! Succinct and PERFECTLY said!!!!! No one has listened 2 the people in a LONG time concerning the actual 'destruction' of the "Groves' feel and importance. Greed has driven it into the ground!

August 20, 2015 10:13 PM  
Anonymous Charles Corda said...

Anonymous.or should I say a-hole. This is easy..go live on South beach and leave the Grove to those who would like to preserve its natural ambiance. Have a good night.

August 20, 2015 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to fear change people Embrace it.

August 21, 2015 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing I love about the Grove is the small town feel of it all. Scotty's is a part of that. Maybe its true all the bad stuff everyone here is saying about it, but its the "Cheers" of our area. The music is local and so are the patrons. You can go there and see kids and dogs playing, a beautiful view of water and boats, and, most of all, friendly Grove people enjoying each other and all the positive things that make the Grove so special. We have so many places in the Grove that our naysayers can go to if they hate Scotty's so much, but the locals are running out of places where we can enjoy being Grovites.
I did hear that one of our candidates running for District 2 actually filed a lawsuit to try and stop this "Bayside" for the Grove. Does anyone know who that was?

August 21, 2015 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles Corda, No, no & no, anon has been in the Grove since 1965 and love it. I own my home, cars, trucks and boat, use the Grove ramp, fish the area, dive for lobster in the area and avoid S. Beach like the plague, to many people and I dislike crowds & endless traffic. But, S. Beach folks are very beautiful, intelligent, futuristic, talkative, middle class & upwardly mobile and ladies in Bikinis turn me into a voyeur, when my wife is looking the other way. In case U haven't notice the world, i.e., every country, state, county, municipality & village have issues, some good, some bad and there's always people who want to rant negatively and you are such a person, probably because you are one pissed off soul as your rants so indicate. I love the Grove and I think S. Beach is a really nice communitso and if you don't mind I'll stay, with or without Scotty's, or this store or that eatery. Do you live in the Grove or do you simply vet on numerous other blogs?

August 21, 2015 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truth is that Scotty's should have been boarded up by the department of health in 2005... and in every subsequent inspection.

Betting Scott greased some wheels to avoid that... and should we talk about how he got his sweetheart deal way back when?

Why isn't anyone made that he literally made millions* off of a deal with the city that the city should never have entered. If you wanna get mad about the city making bad deals - that one was horrendous. "Well, he sold us beer and let us bring our dogs, so the fact that he took advantage is totally cool, man."

*all money made from boats not the beer & dog food.

August 21, 2015 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 10:00 AM
The only candidate that put her money where her mouth is and filed a lawsuit is Grace Solares. Be sure and cast your vote for her. Keep in mind that voting for others will split the vote and guarantee the Sarnoff's a third term.

August 21, 2015 5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grace Solares sued the city and cost the residents of the City millions $$$. Not because she cares but to make a name for herself in order to run for office. Voting for her is just an admission that you have no clue. Has anyone bothered to look at her campaign contributors? She is part of the same old corrupt group.

August 21, 2015 5:31 PM  
Blogger cooking said...

2 hour waits happened to me at Scottys and the food is awful. But dogs in an outdoor restaurant area is pretty normal.

August 24, 2015 1:47 PM  

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