Beach Entrepreneur To Go With Restaurant On Biscayne
Written by Marilyn Bowden on October 26, 2000
By Marilyn Bowden
A Miami Beach restaurateur has plans for a new restaurant and deli at Biscayne Boulevard and 50th Street.
Les Deux Fontaines Restaurant Group will follow the success of the upscale Les Deux Fontaines seafood restaurant in the Hotel Ocean, 1230 Ocean Drive, with a neighborhood eatery at 5061 Biscayne Blvd., says principal Xavier Lesmarie.
"We bought two lots, a motel and an existing apartment building on the east side of the boulevard," he said. "We’re tearing down the motel for parking and are renovating the other building for a two-story restaurant and deli."
He said the cost of the project will be about $2.5 million.
Mr. Lesmarie said he expects approval for a zoning change to clear the way for the eatery at a Miami City Commission today (10/26) since there’s been no opposition.
He said construction will begin after permitting is completed.
"If everything goes well," Mr. Lesmarie said, "we could be ready to open sometime in May."
He said the success of Soyka’s Restaurant CafÇ & Bar, which opened at 5556 NE Fourth Ct. just off Biscayne Boulevard in the same area, "showed me the light."
Soyka’s is the brainchild of News CafÇ founder Mark Soyka.
"I live at Palm Bay Yacht Club," Mr. Lesmarie said. "So I am really doing a restaurant in my own neighborhood."
He said 5061 Eatery, which will seat about 200, will cater to the business crowd.
The concept combines elements of Perricone’s, Power Studios and Houston’s, he said — but without music.
"The client can create his own meal by mixing and matching from an extensive menu — choosing meat or fish, the method of cooking, sauces and side dishes."
Bob Flanders, vice president and co-founder of the Upper Eastside Miami Council, which promotes redevelopment of the Biscayne corridor north of downtown, said the 5061 project represents a number of firsts.
"It’s the first motel to be demolished in the history of the boulevard," he said. "It’s the first total adaptive re-use of a property and the first development project on the east side of the boulevard in many years."
He said the area of boarded-up businesses and dilapidated hotels is poised for change.
"We think the primary driving force has always been the performing arts center," Mr. Flanders said.
The center, which is not under way yet and will require at least three years of construction, will be at Biscayne and 14th Street, making the boulevard the entry to the city from points north.
Mr. Flanders said a recent seminar addressing redevelopment options along Biscayne focused on adaptive reuses of motels.
"The city is just beginning to realize," he said, "that stuff that was built here has architectural merit."