La Piaggia restaurant fixes violations, will reopen Sunday

South-of-Fifth restaurant received its certificate of occupany on Friday, lawsuit is dismissed

Jun.June 03, 2016 06:15 PM

La Piaggia, a restaurant in Miami Beach’s South-of-Fifth neighborhood that had sued the city after it shut it down for building code violations, has fixed the problems and will reopen on Sunday, The Real Deal has learned.

On Friday, La Piaggia received its new certificate of occupancy, after curing its violations by tearing down a garage door and partition walls that had been installed without permits, Alex Maufroy, the restaurant’s general manager, told TRD.

The restaurant plans to redo the construction work, “but this time with permits,” he said.

According to the suit the restaurant filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court April 19, La Piaggia, at the luxe Murano at Portofino at 1000 South Pointe Drive, had been out of compliance with the Florida Building Code since at least July 2015, when it opened a permit to bring the property into compliance. Since none of the issues were a violation of the city’s “Life Safety Code,” La Piaggia was allowed to stay in operation while it worked to bring the property to compliance, the suit said. And the restaurant was in “constant contact and communication” with the city regarding its progress, according to the suit.

On April 18, the city of Miami Beach posted a “Notice of Violation” on the property. But according to the suit, the notice did not specify the nature of the defects, or say that details about the violations could be obtained from the county’s building official, or state the appeals process all required by Miami-Dade County Code, according to the suit.

“As the city’s notice revokes [La Piaggia’s] certificate of occupancy, [La Piaggia] has been forced to shut down its business,” the suit said, resulting in “not only loss of profits, operating income and goodwill in the community, but more importantly it will cause [Piaggia] to discharge about two dozen of its employees,” the suit alleged.

Florida records show La Piaggia is owned by Robert Escanesy.

The lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed April 28, Miami-Dade court records show.

Maufroy said the restaurant will reopen at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, with at least 10 of its former employees, who were kept on payroll.

“We cured all the violations and we are reopening this Sunday,” he said. “We have our CO back.”

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