Prolific Philly restaurateur Stephen Starr just closed his Miami outpost of The Continental. The South Beach restaurant ended service yesterday, July 23, after Sunday brunch, according to Eater Miami. Starr opened the first Continental, a twist on a martini bar, in Philadelphia’s Old City in 1995. The restaurant played a major role in transforming the neighborhood into a nightlife destination. The Continental Midtown, a bigger, two-story version of the original at 18th and Chestnut, opened in 2004. Starr, whose restaurant reach extends not only into Florida but also New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, and Paris, won the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Restaurateur award this year.
The Miami Continental opened in what was the Aloft hotel on Collins Avenue and is now Gates Hotel South Beach in August 2015. Starr has four other restaurants in Florida, including Upland in Miami Beach, Steak 954 in Fort Lauderdale, also inside a hotel, and Makoto and Le Zoo in Bal Harbour. He told Michael Klein at Philly.com the Continental had underperformed and mentioned issues with parking, but said that his other Florida restaurants are doing well.