Opinion: Granada Blvd Not The Place For Major Restaurant

Luis Uriarte

Resident of Coral Gables for over 44 years who lives feet away from Burger Bob’s

I have lived half a block from Burger Bob’s on Granada Blvd for the past 44 years, and I just became aware of what is going on in the City with regards to a restaurant proposed by the Barreto Hospitality Group for that location.

I am totally opposed to having a restaurant of the size proposed at that location, half a block from my house. I am appalled at the manner in which the City is treating Bob and Rita but we have to accept that Burger Bob’s has seen its day in its present form, it has to be updated and upgraded, but we do not need a 135 seat restaurant in the middle of one of the nicest residential areas in Coral Gables. Even if the beloved Bob Maguire and Rita Tennyson had the means and proposed a major restaurant in that location, the City should not even consider it. Why is the City even considering the unsolicited proposal for a major restaurant at that location? Is this the work of the newly elected Commission that was so adamantly against uncontrolled development before the elections? If they really are, they should be against a major restaurant on Granada Blvd. What is next, Country Club Prado, Ferdinand Park?

Last year when the pandemic shutdown went into effect, people from all over the County flocked to the Granada golf course in the afternoons to walk, run, bicycle, etc. Cars were parked on the golf course along South Greenway from Granada almost all the way to Coral Way. The City had to assign police cars to the area at that time to try to control traffic and avoid accidents. Imagine, the proposed major restaurant will bring at least another 100 cars to the area on Friday and Saturday evenings, and when it coincides with a wedding reception or another major event going on at the same time in the Country Club, there could be as many as 200+ cars looking for a place to park. Imagine the noise that will result from 104 people having dinner and drinking outside. Imagine loud groups leaving at closing time looking for their cars after having had wine/drinks.

Imagine garbage trucks having to pick up the trash more regularly and the typical smell from trash bins behind the restaurant. And we do not have to imagine, we know for certain, that a major restaurant at that location will have a negative impact on the value of our properties on North and South Greenway at least.

The City should only consider a proposal to upgrade/update Burger Bob’s location, add outside seating, and operate a café/small restaurant. It should be along the lines of some businesses operating successfully in the City such as Chocolate Fashion, Threefold Café, Crema Gourmet Espresso Bar and others.

There are plenty of prime vacant spaces on Miracle Mile but I am sure that the Barreto Group prefers to have the City as a landlord and negotiate a much better deal than what they will get from a property owner downtown !!!!

Granada Blvd is not the location for a major restaurant!!!!!


22 thoughts on “Opinion: Granada Blvd Not The Place For Major Restaurant

  1. If residents want to protect their backyard, they need to pay attention constantly and know who decides or else, that’s the message. and you never ever ever forget the polls.

  2. The city needs to improve the areas that have fallen behind and do not represent the Coral Gables charm. This restaurant had its day and looking at thing with a vision of improvement yes this place needs to get renovated and it’s offering should be more than a burger. This used to be a place where we proudly invited for business breakfast or lunch , friends visiting the city and family but it’s gotten so bad that it would be an embarrassment to take any one there. I think that who ever is granted the use of this place should be a precondition to gutting the whole place and improvement of the Club facilities…reception, lobby and sport shop and a nice Indira and outdoor restaurant and bar. We should be grateful to the people that want to invest in the betterment of the failing city properties.

  3. The main reason Burger Bob’s is popular is that it feels local. It’s the diner that we all remember but have a hard time finding anymore. The secret to a good party (and dining experience) is a small room, and Bob’s is just that. Upgrade while maintaining its ambiance, yes, but don’t bring in another large, fancy restaurant. That’s good for the Miracle Mile, but not in the heart of a residential neighborhood.

  4. Burger Bob’s provides an amenity for users (golfers) of Granada Golf Course. To expand its clientele by creating more seating will thereby create more parking and more impact (primarily adverse) on neighbouring residents. It could use upgrading but not expansion. People live near there for a reason. A major restaurant is not it.

  5. As a long time relocated resident of The Gables I can first say I miss it and it’s unique charm and character. Secondly, this proposal would invade the charm like a non native species invades the Everglades. As a distant and interested observer I would urge officials not to allow this to happen. If it is even to be considered, the hours should not be allowed to expand and no additional parking with strict enforcement. Who would want a new evening venue open in the evenings in their residential neighborhood? Especially one so unneeded given the abundance of high quality restaurants in the commercial area. This is could be a case study in poor local governance if allowed to move forward.

  6. While I wholeheartedly agree that a large restaurant on the Granada Golf Course would be horrendous, I cannot agree that Burger Bob’s and what it represents should be discarded and relegated to the dustbin. The fact that it is, to all of the regular patrons a friendly and familiar place is reason enough to consider prolonging the concept of a small owner run business. I am a Coral Gables native (56 years) and I recall as a child, my parents being greeted, formally and by name at different stores, like Boys Town, the Bootery and at the Biscayne Cafeteria. It was nice. It was genuine and not the ersatz familiarity that passes for politeness these days. If Coral Gables, which is a small town, wishes to keep that dynamic, then by all means it should give absolute precedence to Mom and Pop, or locally owned businesses. That our elected officials have for a number of years brokered all nature of backroom deals allowing enormous rental and condominiums to be built is a sad reflection upon us, the citizens who fail to speak out. I remember when Biltmore Way was closed by the sheer tyrannical will of the Mayor. All it took was one citizen to start a movement that returned it to what it was always meant to be.

  7. A major restaurant in the middle of our neighborhood is a terrible idea. You are spot on and shame on the City of the agree to this.

  8. Bravo, Mr.Uriarte, your article is spot on.
    Until anyone experiences the constant noise, truck and car traffic, the parking battles, the resulting large dumpster effects, and a plethora of other health, safety and welfare concerns firsthand, neighborhood residents are really are in for some disappointing results far exceeding some convenience.

  9. Please leave Burger Bob’s.. We value local places….where would parking be for a log restaurant?

  10. I don’t know guys, Forte is a really good restaurant! Has anyone been to Burger Bob’s lately? Flies buzz around the counter seats. The burgers are delicious, but when they don’t even have an ice maker and need to get it from a plastic cooler, you gotta question what is charming and what is lacking. Also, the pro shop is sad. I almost donated my used golf shirts just so they can have something to sell. I agree with keeping in the language of Coral Gables, but has anyone ever questioned the design of the building itself? It’s a low 1950’s ranch..in the same vein as The Brady Bunch’s home..but with really nice roof tile.

  11. Totally agree, this is a bad idea and it’s against the residents wish and needs. Any request to create a bigger restaurante in that location must be denied.

  12. I have been a Coral Gables resident since 1961. A major restaurant will be a mistake! It will change the dynamics of the whole area, and it will set the precedent for more like this.
    It is shameful that the City will even think of removing a beloved restaurant in exchange of a beloved staple of the City

  13. Bravo M. Iriarte, well said. Yes, Burger Bob’s is in need of updating, but a larger restaurant is not needed and not in the best interest of the residents of this beautiful area. Canvas your neighbors, get involve, it is the only way to be heard. We now have a Mayor and some Commissioners that listen to the residents.

  14. The author lives in what is the Central Park of Coral Gables and next to a Country Club which operates more like a banquet hall than anything else. So the concern is about a few more tables and some “al fresco” seating overlooking a golf course? The pandemic solidifies the argument of a need for more outdoor dining and better uses of public spaces such as the Granada Golf Course. I support the initiative to improve the property and add a few more tables. The residents along the greenways will be the first ones walking over for dinner i guarantee it.

    The next op ed will be from the slesnicks and the good governement against outdoor seating like they did some years ago and set up the didonatos for failure. the additional tables outdoors added during the pandemic didn’t cause chaos for the neighbors. any complaints from anyone? no. it provided a rather nice place to enjoy some ice cream outdoors and enjoy the beauty that is Coral Gables.

  15. Fully agree with Mr. Uriarte. Unfortunately, $$$$$ rules and not always for the best or correct outcome.

  16. Burger Bob’s has been a staple in this community for many years. To alter it would be a mistake. It is a nostalgic meeting place for many of the members in Coral Gables.

  17. If you are of like mind with the author and have not already done so, please leave a comment AND sign the petition at Change.org/SaveBurgerBobs. Just copy and paste the url address in your browser.

  18. A major restaurant will be a mistake! It will change the dynamics of the whole area, and it will set the precedent for more like it.

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