Gianni Versace’s favorite spot to sip coffee, read the morning newspaper, and people-watch returns refreshed but true to its roots
MIAMI, March 6, 2023 /via PRNewswire/ — News Café, the famed restaurant, bar, and newsstand that contributed to South Beach’s resurgence in the 1980s, reopened at its original location on the ground floor of The Tony Hotel at 804 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Operated by Vida & Estilo Restaurant Group, the iconic landmark will boast an elevated design and Mediterranean-American menu.
South Beach’s Iconic News Café to Reopen on Ocean Drive
The brainchild of renowned restaurateur Mark Soyka, News Café debuted in 1988 as one of the only restaurants in Ocean Drive’s Art Deco district, an infamously dilapidated area at the time. The 350-seat restaurant quickly became a go-to destination for locals and tourists alike, including Gianni Versace who notoriously frequented the restaurant daily for his breakfast and newspaper. The concept thrived for nearly 30 years, open 24 hours and servicing between four and five thousand patrons a day.
“The News Café was essential to South Beach,” said Jamil Dib, Founder and Co-Owner of Vida & Estilo Restaurant Group. “If you visited without going to News Café, you didn’t experience the real South Beach. We have the honor of restoring the restaurant and therefore a responsibility to its legacy, which we are confident the new concept pays homage to.”
In tandem with the News Café’s success, founder of Goldman Properties and late visionary Tony Goldman pioneered a renaissance in South Beach. He renovated and revitalized a portfolio of Art Deco hotels and properties in the neighborhood, including The Tony Hotel. The new developments attracted locals, tourists, and businesses to the neighborhood that ushered in a new era of prosperity which continues there today. Goldman Properties acquired the News Café brand in 2021 and is partnering with Vida & Estilo for the reopening.
“Tony had a unique ability for placemaking. He built diverse communities where local businesses thrived and tourism flourished,” said Scott Srebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties. “We strive to honor Tony’s legacy by continuing to restore and preserve historic establishments like the News Café.”
In tribute to the original menu, News Café will return with beloved classics alongside new dishes conceived by Chef Henry Hané, Founder of Brickell’s popular B Bistro. Open all day, News Café will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner inspired by Mediterranean and American cuisine. Its ingredients will be sourced from local purveyors and artisans well-known for their craft, including fresh pastries, honey, and vegetables.
“As a local, I remember eating at News Café with my family every Friday,” said Chef Henry Hané. “I know I’m not the only one who has felt its absence since it closed, so I’m humbled to support its renaissance.”
Encouraging nostalgia, the menu will recreate the original Tony’s tomato soup, tuna melt, Aegean-Mediterranean plate, and eggs benedict. New additions include indulgent dishes like the Ocean Drive bacon, egg, and cheese; piña colada pancakes with grilled pineapple and coconut syrup; loaded fries; and a delicious burger with red wine demi sauce, smoked gouda, and caramelized onions. Lunch and dinner menus pair exceptionally well with an extensive beverage menu that includes iced and frozen cocktails, still and sparkling wines, and an assortment of beers.
The same sentimental green awning with its “News Café” logo that has welcomed guests since 1988 will remain above the entrance to the eatery. Its namesake and legendary newsstand will be populated with local, national, and international papers for diners to buy and read over a cup of coffee, as was typical of its past patrons. Wall décor includes framed portraits of 90s icons, including Gianni Versace and Tony Goldman, in addition to vintage images of News Cafe’s early years. Guests will be seated at marble tables or can request to dine in the “Fashion Corner,” featuring an homage to Versace.
Next door to the News Café, Vida & Estilo Restaurant Group just opened the doors to its third Oh! Mexico location, serving Mexican dishes made with fresh ingredients and house-made tortillas. Since 1997, Oh! Mexico has provided authentic Mexican fare to its patrons on Española Way. The 804 Ocean Drive concept, Oh! Mexico Taco Shop will operate as a classic taco shop, welcoming beachgoers and pedestrians to enjoy a casual bite and a frosty margarita.
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