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The City of Coral Gables’ Community Recreation Department held a public meeting on Thursday, December 8th, to discuss the design concepts for the diner to be located at the location formerly known as Burger Bob’s.
Community Recreation Director Fred Couceyro led the presentation and showed renderings of the City’s concept for the diner.
He explained that the footprint of the diner is being expanded into the space of the golf pro shop in order to accommodate for a single unisex ADA accessible bathroom within the restaurant.
The entrance doors will be moved to create two entrances at opposite ends of the front of the restaurant, with an access door to the golf pro shop.
The design, he explained, was based on using contemporary features and incorporating some of the historic ones that made the restaurant what it was.
Residents in attendance voiced their desires to incorporate some of the features, such as the furniture, from the old diner. The furniture is currently in storage at a resident’s garage. They were also adamant about the removal of the bar-top table on the window with charging stations, as this would remove the potential for additional tables and discourage oral communication.
The point that brought about the most concerns was the timeline for reopening.
Although the Commission had asked for City Manager Peter Iglesias to work on completing the diner by this Christmas, the presentation explained the time table is set for construction to take place in winter of 2023. This would imply that Bob’s, which closed its doors on February 13th of this year, will have remained closed for at least two years and not be open until 2024.
The timeline confirms what sources at City Hall had been telling Gables Insider for months, Bob’s is not a priority for the City Manager. In comparison, the State of Florida was able to complete a bridge to Sanibel and Captiva within three days, Coral Gables will take two years to renovate a 1,200 square foot diner. Iglesias, who was present for the presentation, did not answer the question on why this process has taken so long.
The current estimated cost of the project is $610,000.
Staff will be taking resident input from this meeting back to the architect for potential design changes.