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May 8, 2008 11:57 AM

Cafe Tu TU tango closing May 26?

Anybody heard anything?

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  1. I heard the same thing. Don't know why though. They probably need space for a Bennigan's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: herbage

      article in the Miami Herald and on the news. Tu Tu says that an agreement was never made on a new lease, Cocowalk says they owe months of back rent. See link below

    2. Cocowalk is going to great lengths to start revamping the mall to cater to an older and more upscale crowd. While I don't think Tu Tu Tango is the main culprit for most of their current clientele, I'm not surprised the center is playing hardball with them.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Icantread

        I used to love to go to Tu Tu Tango, and it was a great date place. However, having grown up in the grove, Cocowalk....became just another mall, and the reason we dont go there any more is that parking is EXPENSIVE....and we can go to other malls with the same stores and movie theatres where the parking is free and there is Air Conditioning. Anyone have any guesses as to what will go into the space....I am going to bet a Chili's or a Friday's LOL

        1. re: Miami Foodie Girl

          No way will it be a chain such as them, because that would attract that immature crowd that they are trying to get rid of and go against their whole vision of a "new" Cocowalk appeal.

          1. re: jmdhsmiami

            Chili's is already going above Cheesecake factory. Restaurants need to evolve with the times and Tango stayed the same. A restaurant cannot survive that way. Paying 40k a month in rent is a hard nut to crack with $6-8 tapas plates too.

      2. While the food was ok, I have had two separate problems with managers there being completely useless in correcting some big problems. I can't say I am too sad to see them go.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mikek

          My guess is that the same people sad to see them go (in the Herald) either likely haven't been there in quite some time or haven't any imagination. Nostalgia's nice and all, but in reality the place was interested in milking it's fame, not being a Miami standard.

          1. re: Icantread

            Couldnt disagree with you more icantread. I go there about once a week and always enjoy it. Cafe TTT is a staple in teh Grove. It really gives off the vibe of the area - laid back, cultured, and artsy. The food is nothing to run and tell the whole world about but it is pretty good nonetheless. The bar and bartenders there are great and nothing beats sitting on the outdoor porch with a few tapas and a few cocktails while looking down at the passerbys in the Grove.

            The bottom line is that the place has structural damage and Cocowalk is a horrible landlord. They will continue to jack up rent while more and more storefronts stay empty. A chilis is on the way and will likely be a dud. Cafe TTT was a great Grove spot. Its a shame it will be gone soon.

            1. re: Blind Mind

              The last time few times I went, which i will admit must have been 2 years ago, they were in the process of appealing to a crasser crowd. It wasn't laid back, the music was obnoxiously loud, a slew of belly dancers were in, people were a little overboard with the drinking and one of the times our server apparently felt he could put all sorts of things on the bill. Moreover, the manager was incredibly uninterested in his employee's transgressions. I did like it once upon a time, and it could be nice, but nothing more. From what I saw of it as going downhill, perhaps it was a weird period for them, in which case I apologize for the generalization. Either way, like I said, I'm not devastated but by no means do I think they're the culprit responsible for Cocowalk's "debasing"

        2. It's been a long time since I've gone there, but I generally found the food to be so-so and the "artsy vibe" to be very contrived and Disney-esque - "BeatnikLand", if you will.

          I also find it pretty amusing that their current slogan - "A dining experience unlike any other, CAFÉ TU TU TANGO offers delicious international fare for the left side of your brain" - gets ass-backward the whole left brain / right brain thing (left brain handling the logical, analytical, rational type stuff, while right brain handles the artistic, intuitive stuff).

          Perhaps someone a little more left-brained should have proofread that slogan.

          30 Replies
          1. re: Frodnesor

            I often went to Tu Tu as a UM grad student. I was always struck by the fake artsiness, the subpar food and the fact that the bill generally had an additional item or two not ordered by anyone at the table. I'm sad that people will be displaced by the close down but hopeful that the Grove will get its act together and grow up.

            1. re: jessierandall

              Try this one out, a couple of years ago I went there on a date, the girl forgot her entire wallet at home. We order a pitcher of sangria. In the middle of the pitcher the manager comes over asking for both IDs, I show mine, explain why she does not have one. He takes the pitcher away and charges for the entire thing. At the end of the meal when I question him about it, he starts yelling at us for possibly getting his place shut down and refuses to remove the sangria from the bill. I have not been back since.

              1. re: mikek

                Anyone give Cocowalk a shot of lasting much longer? Coyote Ugly didn't even make it to its first year anniversary. The Grove is in dire shape. If Cocowalk wants older clientele, why is it replacing AMC with a Muvico? The only reason it wants to get older is because the younger crowd is now in South Miami-Gables-Design District-SoBe. It's not aiming older on purpose. It's aiming older by default.

                I'm taking good memories of TTT with me, but have to realize that if even TTT couldn't cover the rent and the landlord let it get away with it for several months, that it will be hard for any concept to be persuaded to open up there, investing in leasehold improvements at a potential ghost town.

                1. re: Gabled

                  It sounds like they are moving the movie theater upscale to appeal to a more upscale crowd and away from the kiddies.

                  1. re: jmdhsmiami

                    Yes, the Muvico will be a stylistic improvement to the AMC (which deteriorated into perhaps the worst AMC in the area -- I'd use it as a theater when I wanted to see a hot movie on opening weekend at an empty theater), but if the new Cocowalk was serious about walking their walk, they'd have sought out Cobb's Cinebistro to go smaller yet more upscale than just hope that Muvico will skew older (unless I'm missing something, the Pembroke Pines Muvico demographics aren't that different). I can only imagine the concessions that Cocowalk will have to give to Muvico, because Muvico is going to have to spend a pretty penny in upgrading those theaters.

                  2. re: Gabled

                    Not because they need to, there's more money in a slightly older crowd, and the new owners understand that. They aren't making it easy for the Coyote Ugly's and I'm guessing it's going to be a tough few years for them, but they're trying to make strides. They're bringing in a new spa run by someone very experienced in the business, the new movie theater and a few other clients. They're charging top dollar in there and catering to a bunch of kids isn't going to pay the bills anymore.

              2. re: Frodnesor

                Man Frod, sometimes I think you analyze things too much (left/right brain thing) haha.

                I went there to pregame on Friday night. Funny how business has picked up since its demise was announced. Bang Bang shrimp and Pecan Crisps w/ Pear & Gorgonzola were great as were the drinks, bartenders, and crowd.

                Gabled - the Grove crowd has not moved to Design-Gables-SoMi-SoBe. The crowd is still there but the truth of the matter is that the Grove doesnt want that crowd anymore.

                If all the horrible stories listed here are true then that sucks that you had a bad experience. Something tells me the power of exaggeration is at play though...

                1. re: Blind Mind

                  to me the quality and the amount of choices of Grove eateries has faltered. Christabelle's Quarter is a great space and surprised they are still in business, I think they do a good nightlife business in their third floor space, just way too heavy! Moe's next door? what the hell is that? Wednesday night, Green Street I know has great breakfast but didn't know anything about their dinner but they were packed (because they are so good or that there is no where else to eat in the Grove) and the corner across from them is empty.

                  We ended up at Le Bouchon du Grove, our table had the mussels and the Duck confit. It was a good solid meal, perfer Pastis and then French Kiss for hole in the wall French. Finally for dessert we went to Dolce Vita, is it me or did they change the names on their gelatos?

                  But where else is there to eat? The only thing I can see happening to the Grove is more commercial eateries because I don't think any small cafes will survive the current economy in the Grove.

                  And when I say Grove, I mean Coconut Grove area from the Mayfair Hotel to Coconut Grove Playhouse.

                  1. re: jmdhsmiami

                    It's funny, a few years ago Green Street all of a sudden had a young (21-29) night crowd packed corner to corner in the space. It happened overnight and I was flabbergasted when I saw it. I always associated it with breakfast and older people at night.

                    1. re: Icantread

                      With all due respect, I'd consider waterboarding before eating at Green Street.

                      1. re: taiga

                        This should probably be for another thread, but where do you eat breakfast? I'm always sort of stumped when it comes to my options and rarely satisfied. Haven't been there myself in quite some time, but I thought it was adequate.

                        1. re: Icantread

                          I agree with taiga about the food @ Green Street, however, the breakfast is pretty damn good, especially if you like a side of people watching with your meal.

                          Icantread - head to Coral Bagels for breakfast. Affordable, good food, good service. Nuff said.

                          1. re: Blind Mind

                            I agree that the venue at Green Street is wonderful; I am legitimately frustrated by the food. The Deli Lane leaves me feeling the same way. I would rather eat at Coral Bagels, Roasters n Toasters, Lots of Lox, Wagons West, or any of those places, but the atmospheres are obviously quite different --linoleum unchic. The French place in the Grove across from Le Bouchon is a bit better, but if Paul would open down south, it would be a grand improvement. I love their food.

                            1. re: taiga

                              Paul is great. I remember being enchanted when the first one opened. I must confess last time I went to Wagons West I thought I might contract syphilis from my straw, so won't be returning anytime soon. I have been hearing good things about Coral Bagles, so thanks to both of you about that reminder. Roasters and Toasters IS good, and the long waits attest to that.

                              1. re: taiga

                                Wow... I hate to say it but you just lost all credibility with me when you said the French place (Le Moulin du Grove) across from Le Bouchon was better. That is probably the worst French Ive ever had, period. They dont even use fresh ingredients!

                                1. re: Blind Mind

                                  Paul and Le Moulin come across more as bakeries than a full fledged bistro. I mean, if I wanted a simple sandwich for dinner, I would maybe go to Paul or Le Moulin, but never a nice complete meal with a bottle of wine, am I wrong?

                                  From the PAUL website:

                                  The PAUL tea-rooms offer a French style of snack lunch: savory and sweet pastries, a selection of French pancakes, simple dishes and a selection of salads, etc. All prepared on the premises. The perfect stop for a lunchtime break.

                                  1. re: Blind Mind

                                    I was strictly thinking about bread, coffee, and a bit of atmosphere. I wouldn't "eat" there either, but I prefer it to Green Street for the first two. I also avoid Wagons West; I like Walter's for breakfast but it is far from the Grove. But Paul is entirely another category and would love to be able to get their bread daily. It is world class, as typical as a patisserie in France and on par with every B1 bakery in Japan.

                                      1. re: Blind Mind


                                        all over France and the rest of the world. First experience for me was in Paris afte a red eye flight waiting for the Eurostar to London. Apparently their headquarters for the USA are here in North Miami. All existing locations are throughout Florida, news to me!

                                        1. re: jmdhsmiami

                                          Oh yeah! I remember seeing the signage for that place when I used to work off Lincoln Rd and it was being built. Good stuff. I'll have to give it a shot this weekend when Im on SoBe for a spa show. Thanks for the info.

                                          1. re: Blind Mind

                                            I've been to the pleasant strip mall location near Aventura, the one in the mall there, and the one in the former Cafeteria spot on Lincoln Road. The breads I have eaten are outstanding!

                                            1. re: taiga

                                              I agree. I have had bread from them at the Aventura Mall and it was phenomenal.

                        2. re: jmdhsmiami

                          jmdhsmiami - Im also a fan of French food and really enjoyed FK as opposed to LBdG. I think that place closed though...

                          A few other great spots in the Grove are Jaguar and Pisco's (Peruvian - excellent ceviche and seafood - corner of Mary & Oak)

                          Jaguar Restaurant
                          3067 Grand Ave, Miami, FL 33133

                          1. re: jmdhsmiami

                            Would you recommend Bouchon du Grove? We had a not very good meal there recently. So disappointing. Everything was off -- either too much (spices, sauce, cheese) or not enough. And really didn't like them not replacing the silverware nor the tables on top of each other. I'm not big on confit -- try to stay away from the fat. How would you say it compares to other french restaurants in the area?

                            1. re: JulieF

                              Bouchon is okay, Cafe Pastis in South Miami is by far much better. Small and gets full fast, but is good. Agreed Chowhounders?

                              1. re: JulieF

                                Not replacing the silverware? You ate with a used fork? Explain...

                                Ive never been a huge fan of Le Bouchon but have found it to be decent. The guy who used to run Le Bouchon just opened his own place on Commodore Plaza between Christabelles and Moe's (where Ristorante d' il Frasca used to be). Its called "Georges in the Grove" and the food there was really, really, good. I also went on the 1st night they opened which says a lot. George has quite a following too so the place was packed. I had the tuna tartar and the Mediterranean veggie salad. The tuna tartar was a HUGE portion (I could only eat 1/2) and was OK. The tuna was mixed with creme fraiche which really dulled the flavor. It really needed some sort of spice to be a great dish. The Mediterranean veggie salad was awesome though. Normally when you think salad, there is lettuce or some sort of greens involved. Not in this case. The salad came with julienne carrots, zucchini, squash, and cauliflower that had been marinated in a lemony vinegar dressing (not sure on the actual dressing contents - need a 2nd trip). This dish was light and incredibly good.

                                Ive heard a lot of good things about Cafe Pastis but I recommend trying George's in the Grove for a great meal.

                                1. re: Blind Mind

                                  Stumbled upon George's in the Grove. Great meal, had the Lobster Salad, very impressed and a nice touch with the glass of rose champagne. Not sure how long that will last but it was a nice touch... Where did they come from? Any word on their lineage?

                            2. re: Blind Mind

                              I have to agree with Blind Mind. TTT wasn't the best food around, but it was still better than a lot places and was a good change of pace. Besides, who doesn't like belly dancers?

                              1. re: lilbro

                                Tu Tu Tango was always consistent, always fun and I never had a meal there that I didn't enjoy. Sad to hear it is closing.

                            3. re: Frodnesor

                              I think many people confuse the two sides of the fact I had a very funny discussion with some lawyers recently as to why that is....they related it to politics ;-)

                              On this discussion I am just so sad to hear about a chilis there....are we ever going to actually move forward?

                            4. Today's Herald reports that the Cafe Tu Tu Tango space will go to a dueling piano concept out of Europe called Crazy Pianos.

                              Wasn't there a dueling pianos concept that came and went in the old Improv space several years ago?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Gabled

                                Another place that will close in a year!

                                1. re: chefLa

                                  Don't overestimate the power of the Miami populace to keep a cheezy chain concept alive longer than it should be.

                                  1. re: lax2mia

                                    do you mean like Pat O'Briens in New Orleans? Hmmm that's been open what? 60 years?