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Emeril's in the Lowes Hotel Miami Beach to Close in August; 
Decision is Mutual Citing Inability to Reach Lease Agreement

By Hannah Sampson, The Miami HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

June 08, 2011--Nearly eight years after bringing the "Bam!" to South Florida, Emeril Lagasse will close his restaurant at the Loews Miami Beach.

In a joint press release issued Tuesday by Loews Hotels and Lagasse's corporate office, the companies said they had made a mutual decision not to renew the restaurant's lease in the ground floor of the hotel at 1601 Collins Ave. The last meal will be served on Aug. 7.

Shawn Hauver, area director of operations for Loews Hotels, said in an interview Tuesday afternoon that neither party could reach an agreement for the location but that all sides remained friendly.

"The hotel has done over $35 million worth of renovations to the guest rooms and lobby over the last couple of years," Hauver said. "It was time to focus on this space and we just weren't able to work out the financial arrangement to continue to make it work."

The Emeril's Tchoup Chop restaurant will remain at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando and all Loews hotels will continue serving Emeril's Big Easy Bold Coffee in guest rooms.

"I love Miami and we'll certainly miss having an outpost here," Lagasse said in a statement. "Over the past eight years, we've made many friends here and I'm proud of our team who helped make this a great restaurant."

In addition to two locations in Orlando, Lagasse also has restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas and Bethlehem, Pa.

Hauver said Loews Miami Beach will seek a new restaurant operator for the space.


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