It’s a Question of Authenticity

In another intersection of my two favorite topics—cities and food—I’m sad to report that David’s Café at Meridian Avenue and Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, has closed.

and this is what we’ll lose

In 1993 when they opened, Lincoln Road had not become a chain retail outpost, but was still a funky an appealing mix of independent boutiques, art studios, cool salons, and restaurants. From season to season, you never knew what you’d find.

Owner, Adrien Gonzalez said he is going to miss this restaurant’s location. “It’s kind of sad because unfortunately, that’s kind of what happens. We came here when it was desolate, there was nothing going on here. Now, it’s thriving, and it was like a ticking time bomb and eventually pushed us out. Unfortunately, these areas die out, and it becomes a big national area for big national chains,” he said.

Without pretension at the lunch counter and in the dining room, David’s served generous plates of ropa vieja, pan con lechon, churros, and media noches. But what set David’s apart was the ventanita—the sidewalk facing coffee window that was a perfect urban space. All paths crossed at the ventanita for a Thornton Wilder-esque view of this layered city. Cops and Bentley drivers took their privilege and parked along the yellow curb. Mere mortals strolled up for their cafecito or colada.

david's cafe lincoln road miami beach

I’m hoofin’ it

Conversation included advice on where to get your Rolex fixed, questions about camera lenses, compliments on sky-high sandals, and varied views of big ink. And we all felt superior to the Starbucks sheep across the street.

davids, appetite for books, cafe, cuban, miami

Cuban coffee–cafe–caldo, azucar, fuerte, espuma–hot, sweet, strong, foamy

But capitalism’s creative destruction has devalued David’s unquantifiable value in favor of higher rent and another lingerie/bathing suit/souvenir store. Chains offer long term leases and the comfort of a familiar sure thing for consumers and landlords. But with them, Lincoln Road–an extraordinarily appealing physical environment–becomes a bit less interesting, too much like the local mall rather than an exotic and sophisticated getaway. On the other hand, it wouldn’t be the lively place it is if previous places hadn’t been displaced.

Say goodbye.

miami, davids, appetite for books, cuban coffee

“muy triste”

davids, appetite for books, miami, cuban coffee

muy, muy triste


as always, the great pictures are from George

About Appetite for Books

read, cook, eat, repeat
This entry was posted in drinks, international, restaurant, travel and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to It’s a Question of Authenticity

  1. BLOCK53 says:

    Great post! brings back many of the best memories of Lincoln Road. If the place had a crossroads, this was it…you ran into everybody here. And the cuban coffee was the best. Muy triste…..

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