Restaurant-season slowdown hits Miami

After a busy season of openings, events and hype, the Miami restaurant scene is starting to slow down like an aging club kid.

Lackluster ticket sales are reportedly hampering this weekend’s Cochon 555 pigfest. Ditto a Common Threads event planned for Saturday starring Iron Chef Morimoto, which was canceled this week (we heard the reason was poor ticket sales; the official spin is a Morimoto “scheduling conflict.”).

We have to ask: is Miami suffering from food-fest fatigue? Maybe so, maybe not.

Now we’re hearing that some restaurants are limping along, too. Across the country, restaurant sales were up 3.5 percent in March compared to the same period last year. In Miami? March comp sales were up only 0.8 percent — the third-lowest rate in the country, according to research firm Applied Predictive Technologies. 

An insider tells us that realtors are quietly trying to lease the Siena Tavern space. Just opened in November, Siena Tavern recently announced it is closing on Monday nights during the off-season. Another bad sign: One of its chefs just split to work for a country club. Executive chef and co-owner Fabio Viviani was in town this week to host parties and media events, and PR rep Nick D’Annunzio shoots down any rumors of a sale or closure.

“One hundred percent false,” he says. 

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