Monty’s in Coconut Grove reels in new owner

Monty's and Ron Kriss
Monty's Raw Bar and Ron Kriss

Monty’s Raw Bar, the Coconut Grove waterfront stalwart, has traded hands in a deal that transfers the rights to the lease on land owned by the city of Miami.

Aligned Bayshore Raw Bar LLC and Aligned Bayshore Marina LLC, linked to real estate investor Jose Hevia, are the buyers of the lease for the property, said Ron Kriss, a partner with Miami-based Stroock, Stroock & Lavan.

Hevia, the former CEO of Flagler Development, owns a portfolio of retail, office and residential properties on Fifth Avenue in Naples, said Kriss, who declined to disclose the value of the deal, which was first reported Thursday evening by the Miami Herald.

The new owners plan to operate the restaurant at 2550 South Bayshore Drive through a management company, Kriss told The Real Deal.  The lease transfer covers the 52,893-square-foot lease with adjacent retail and office tenants, including Starbucks and yacht brokerage firms.

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In buying the rights, “you also also own the improvements, so if there is a building on the ground, you are buying the building,” he told TRD. “You’re not buying the ground under it, you are leasing the ground under it.”

Though Hevia did not return calls on Friday, Kriss said the owners do not plan to change the name, menu or tiki bar experience of the venue, which offers live music. Monty’s, which has been operating in Coconut Grove for 46 years, carries the name of its former owner, Monty Trainer.

“They wanted to buy this because they like the restaurant, they like the marina, they are very good at what they do,” said Kriss, who worked on the deal with partner Paul Shelowitz and associate John-Paul Ovadia. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they improve it.”

The seller was Bayshore Landing LLC, whose principal is Robert Christoph, Jr., of RCI Group. Bayshore Landing was represented by Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, a partner with Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, who declined to comment. Miami-Dade property records show the last sale was for $3 million in 2004.

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