Coral Gables’ JohnMartin’s Reopens On Miracle Mile

The revamped venue pays homage to the original with a fresh new look and feel
Photo: Official

Coral Gables’ JohnMartin’s, one of South Florida’s longest-running restaurants, has reopened its doors after shuttering nearly three years ago. Continuing the legacy of the original founders John Clarke and Martin Lynch, who opened the bar on Miami’s Miracle Mile in 1989, the revamped JohnMartin’s opens with updates inspired by the unique melting pot of Miami. Redesigned by design firm Bigtime Design Studios, the two-story, 7,000 square-foot venue pays homage to the original JohnMartin’s. It reopens under the leadership of industry veterans Emi Guerra and Alex Mantecon of Breakwater Hospitality Group, the minds behind Miami entertainment staple The Wharf, and Erick Passo, owner of Downtown’s Black Market Miami.

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“It is a great privilege to be able to reopen JohnMartin’s and carry on the legacy with the blessing of the original founders John Clarke and Martin Lynch,” said Emi Guerra, co-founder of Breakwater Hospitality Group in a statement. “The significance of this beloved watering hole and gathering place cannot be overstated. It brought life to Miracle Mile at a time when there was none there and became a go-to spot in the community.”

“JohnMartin’s has always been near and dear to our hearts, both as Miami locals and as business owners in the hospitality industry with a long held admiration for what John and Martin created here on Miracle Mile over 30 years ago,” said Alex Mantecon, co-founder of Breakwater Hospitality Group. “When we embarked on this project we knew we had very big shoes to fill, and it was important to us that the sense of community and feeling of belonging be at the forefront of every decision we made. We are so grateful to our amazing partners who have helped us bring new life to this incredibly special place.”

Bigtime Design Studios led the renovation of the 31-year-old pub. The design concept speaks to the historic roots of the original heritage of John and Martin while we connect with the future of tastemakers and merry makers; for foodies and laymen alike. The updated venue fuses old and new by showcasing original millwork and architectural elements of the building and eclectic furnishings from the era repurposed for contemporary socializing. New details like a black-and-white color scheme, an indoor garden, and greenery provide a modern yet timeless feel. Flooded with light and a sense of airiness a moss covered brick wall is bordered by contemporary portraits of John and Martin, keeping a watchful and approving eye over this decidedly unique concept.

“Our task was for guests to be able to easily recognize the original JohnMartin’s while delivering a completely fresh and uniquely timeless style that would distinguish it from any other Irish pub guests have seen,” said Bigtime Design Studios designer, Callin Fortis. “Using the building’s history and previous owners’ heritage as a point of inspiration, many original features of the space have been repurposed as tributes to the past made new by incorporating them into this fresh contemporary design. Past and present come together for a dynamic rebirth that we think will appeal to everyone who walks through the doors for years to come, whether they’ve been coming to JohnMartin’s for decades or discovering it for the first time.”

Coffered ceilings throughout evoke a sense of tradition, brought into the present with fresh white paint with red trim, and the floors are made of white and green mosaic tiles, giving the space an upscale feel. Guests are greeted by a grand 43-foot-long bar boasting black-painted wainscoting and a white quartz countertop, lined by brass and navy upholstered barstools. Along the back wall, antique mirrors and a historical centerpiece from the original millwork are a reminder of the venue’s previous incarnation, juxtaposed with modern flat-screen TVs lining the wall for sports fans to watch their team play on game day. Next to the bar is a small stage for live performances, a new addition, made from light wood.

One of the most impactful new features is the addition of a 34-seat indoor garden designed with a skylight that spans the entire ceiling. As guests continue making their way through the first floor, they’ll find a 50-seat dining room with barrel vaulting covered in a damask pattern along one wall, with gold, beige, and brown tones and oak wood paneling throughout. At the very back of the venue, a small dart room with an exposed brick wall painted the colors of the Irish flag provides a place for fun and games. Upstairs, the revamped venue has a brand new private dining area with its own bar and restrooms.

Opening daily at 11:30 a.m., the restaurant serves lunch and dinner, with food offerings including a selection of Irish appetizers, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and “afters” for dessert. Dishes range from traditional staples like Shepherd’s pie and fish and chips to items including Guinness glazed meatballs and duck flatbread, as well as burgers and entrees like Irish whiskey chicken breast and baby back ribs. An menu of spirits, includes more than 300 types of whiskey, as well as beers, wines, seltzers, champagne, and specialty cocktails such as the Shamrock Shake and the Miracle Mile Margarita.

The venue will offer an exclusive, invite-only JohnMartin’s Whiskey Society. Catering to those with a passion for quality spirits and bespoke experiences, this private society comes with benefits that include: personal whiskey lockers, members only experiences, prioritized dining service, and other perks.

The building that houses JohnMartin’s is owned by Miami-based Terranova Corporation, which aims to create a multi-functional environment in Downtown Coral Gables.

“We’ve always aimed to offer vibrant and practical urban spaces that fit right into the mold of Miracle Mile, where people can revel in all the area has to offer, and JohnMartin’s has always been an integral part of that vision,” said Stephen Bittel, Terranova Chairman. “We’re pleased to see new life breathed into this iconic venue and expect it will enjoy great success for decades to come.”

JohnMartin’s is located at 253 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. The restaurant opens daily at 11:30 a.m. It closes at 2 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and closes at 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Lisa Hay

Lisa Hay

Lisa is a staff reporter for What Now Media Group. She covers new restaurant, retail, and real estate openings across all of our markets. A true foodie, this Air Force veteran has lived all over the world — from Aviano, Italy to Nairobi, Kenya — but her favorite spot is NOLA for its rich history, architecture, culture, and of course, its good eats.
Lisa Hay

Lisa Hay

Lisa is a staff reporter for What Now Media Group. She covers new restaurant, retail, and real estate openings across all of our markets. A true foodie, this Air Force veteran has lived all over the world — from Aviano, Italy to Nairobi, Kenya — but her favorite spot is NOLA for its rich history, architecture, culture, and of course, its good eats.

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