You forgot about Lincoln Road. Here’s why you should go back even if you’re not a tourist

Everybody hates Lincoln Road.

Well, OK, not everybody. Tourists love it. What’s not to love about a stretch of Miami Beach with no cars and no snow?

Locals, however, see it differently.

Before anyone dreamed of colonizing Wynwood or thought it was a good idea to enlist six roommates and decamp to overpriced Brickell condos, locals actually went to Lincoln Road. They ate and drank and shopped. They strolled around on perfect winter nights, bought ice cream at The Frieze and pitied friends and relatives in cold climates.

Then the list of grievances against the pedestrian mall started to pile up.

Here are some things we don’t like about Lincoln Road

  • It’s just like any other mall now. It just doesn’t have a roof.
  • There are too many people there on the weekends, and most of them have trouble operating a stroller
  • Why are kids still riding those Razor scooters into our shins?
  • Does anybody outside Seattle really need three Starbucks outlets in a few-block radius?
  • Aggressive restaurant hostesses have escaped from Ocean Drive and are now thrusting menus in your face

Here are some things we REALLY don’t like about Lincoln Road

These drinks.

The fact that there are TWO Britto galleries.

Capital One Cafe’s attempt to persuade us it’s more than the unholy offspring of an ATM and a Peet’s Coffee.

So as we look around at the endless chain stores and restaurants, the empty retail spots and the hookah bars we thought were out of fashion, we have to ask: Is there any reason for a local to set foot in this Retail Hell?

Well. Yes.

What we like about Lincoln Road

Colony Theatre

Led by co-founder and artistic director Michel Hausmann, Miami New Drama has settled into its home and produced some of the best theater in South Florida, including a Cuban-and-Haitian retelling of the classic “Our Town” and the hilarious and savage “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity,” set in the world of professional wrestling. Its next season includes a stage version of “Cocaine Cowboys,” co-written by filmmaker Billy Corben.

Books & Books

Want to shop local? No better place to do it than the Miami Beach outpost of Miami’s local independent book store.

A few restaurants 

Nobody at Rosinella or Spris will try to drag you in off the street. And Balans has a daily happy hour from 5-7 p.m. at the bar with select half-price beer, wine and appetizers.

Regal South Beach movie theater

It’s not quite as swanky as other luxury movie theaters around town, but there’s a VIP section where you can buy beer and wine.

You can still buy this

You wouldn’t wear this tacky sweatshirt with no sleeves and an inexplicable hood. But this item, available at Miami Surf Style at 421 Lincoln Road along with other amazing Florida souvenirs, is a throwback to a simpler time, a reminder that we didn’t always need an H&M to feel complete.

The parking garage on Alton Road

You don’t want to park there – the garage across from the convention center is cheaper. But take the elevator up to the seventh floor just to see the view.