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Downtown Coral Gables continues its renaissance with new stores and restaurants

10/21/10

With more than 15 new restaurants, merchants and cultural venues debuting in Downtown Coral Gables in the second half of 2010, Miracle Mile is abuzz with action. Dining is the talk of the town with celebrity chef Norman Van Aken returning to the Gables with Norman’s 180 and the Ale House introducing their casual brand of fun to the area. Additionally, J. Del Olmo Bridal Gallery and Reminiscence antiques and accessories have relocated to accommodate a 300-seat Seasons 52, set to open in mid-November. The healthy grill and wine bar is taking over six storefronts on the north side of the 300 block of Miracle Mile between Salzedo Street and LeJeune Road.   All told, over 300 new jobs are being created this year by these openings.

“There’s a lot of excitement in the air this year, notably in the 300 block,” said Brad Rosenblatt, president of the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables. “While we, like other major retail districts, saw a few storefronts go dark during the height of the recession, a considerable amount of development has been underway since late last year.  We have been experiencing multiple store and restaurant openings each month, and anticipate rounding out the year with four or five additional openings.”

As the first area in South Florida to promote First Friday Art Gallery Walks, Coral Gables is seeing a renaissance of cultural projects that will attract residents and visitors for much more than just great dining and shopping.  Cultural projects recently opened include the Coral Gables Art Cinema and the Coral Gables Museum, both located on Aragon Avenue near Books & Books.   The Aragon corridor between Salzedo and Ponce de Leon will be quite the cultural hub of activity, just steps from more than 70 restaurants and 160 retailers.

Miracle Mile’s centralized valet parking system is also growing in response to increased demand, making it easier than ever to park your car in Downtown Coral Gables.  Starting on November 1st, centralized valet stations will be located at every block of Miracle Mile, with the newest station opening at the cross-walk near Seasons 52 at 321 Miracle Mile.  Centralized valet allows you to drop off your car at any location on Miracle Mile and pick up at a different location by way of radio dispatch.  If you choose to shop or enjoy a show or film, you can drop off your car near the Actor’s Playhouse or near JohnMartin’s, and later pick up near Tarpon Bend or Seasons 52.  Valet rates are $7 before 6 pm, and $8 afterwards.  For patrons with disabled parking permits, centralized valet parking on Miracle Mile is free.

If valet parking is not your preference, there are four public parking garages and a complement of private garages open to the public with rates as low as $1 per hour.   Visit www.shopcoralgables.com for parking garage locations and directory of stores and restaurants.

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