John Martin’s and Cibo Will Live Again
One of the saddest moments of the pandemic lockdown came on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2020, when the legendary John Martin’s Irish Pub on Miracle Mile closed down after a 30-year run. One year later, however, on St. Patrick’s Day 2021 (of course!), came the news that the iconic watering hole would reopen this fall.
While it will have “an updated look and feel,” according to their publicists, John Martin’s will live again as an Irish bar and grill. The new owners, the Breakwater Hospitality Group (BHG), have pledged to carry on the legacy of the two Irishmen – Martin Lynch and John Clarke – who constructed the bar with wood pulled from old buildings in Ireland itself. Only time will tell if Big Time Design Studio, tapped to “reimagine” the space, will create something that feels authentic or goes too nouveaux with the redesign. Regardless, kudos to Stephen Bittel, chairman of the building’s owner Terranova, for at least trying to bring us back our dear olde publick house.
Meanwhile, down the block the shuttered Italian restaurant and wine bar Cibo is also due for a re-birthing. Chef Adrianne Calvo, who earlier this year reopened Redfish in Matheson Hammock Park with the backing of entrepreneur Rodney Barreto, will be partnering again with Mr. B to reopen Cibo as Forte Italian restaurant. Named for the family of Calvo’s grandmother, Forte will have a 240-person capacity at launch, down 30 to 40 patrons from Cibo’s pre-pandemic layout. This will be Calvo’s third new restaurant in the past year, and fourth overall, but her first go at Coral Gables’ most popular restaurant genre – Italian.