S&S Downtown Diner Lives To See Another Day

Jul 21, 2016

  It was a close call for the historic S&S Diner in Downtown Miami this week. 

The iconic diner was facing eviction, after it was a day late with its July rent, but a court ruling Thursday assured the restaurant will stay in business, for now. 

Simon Elbaz, the restaurant's long time owner was grinning after a busy morning in Miami Dade County Court. Today was the win he said he needed. 

S&S Downtown Diner has been operating since 1938.
Credit Amanda Rabines / WLRN

"Thank God. Thank the Judge," cried Elbaz. 

Meanwhile, the S&S in South Miami Allen's Drug Store, which has a different owner, is still scheduled to close on July 24th. 

In this case, the Judge ruled the diner can remain open until the court decides whether a lease extension the S&S Diner signed in January 2015 is valid. 

Elbaz says the lease agreement was signed with a previous owner in 2010, along with the extension period policies. 

The landlord, Seventeenth and Second Avenue Properties, argues it never agreed to the extension, and that the diner's lease had expired in 2014, according to reporting done by the Miami Herald.

The extension, if honored, would last until 2019. The S&S Diner in Downtown first opened in 1938. 

S&S Downtown Diner is a historic landmark in Miami.
Credit Amanda Rabines / WLRN


Elbaz says he doesn't want to erase the restaurant from Miami's memory, nor his own. 

"It would be sad to close S&S, we have a history, 20 years ago I fell in love with this place and it's part of my life," Elbaz said. 

Tony Tassy, a busser at S&S grew ecstatic after Elbaz returned with the news. He's been working there for two years now. 

"I love my boss! I love my job," shouted Tassy. 

The diner will remain open until further notice.