Balans, a Lincoln Road fixture since 1997, told its staff this morning that the location was closing but Balans and its landlord say talks are continuing to keep it open. Ben Brody, whose family has owned the building since 1981, told RE:MiamiBeach he’s “optimistic that we can figure it out.”
Brody has nothing but good things to say about Balans. “As a wonderful tenant – and longstanding – that showed up on Lincoln Road before the movie theater was even built, we value that relationship and we’re trying to work on some kind of a financial arrangement that allows them to continue to operate on Lincoln Road.”
“We aren’t the typical landlords that say we have a building, you have to pay what you have to pay,” Brody said. “We’re very engaged. We’re merchants. Our background is in retail so we understand both perspectives from being a landlord and being a merchant. It’s a relationship between both parties that we need to make it work. We’re actively engaged in trying to find some type of arrangement that works for both of us.”
“It is a great group and, you know, when times get tough everyone needs to come together and figure it out if they want to solve any issues,” Brody said. “I’m optimistic that we can figure something out that works financially for them and us, that keeps them operating… and build from there. It needs to be a win-win for both them and for us and we’re not unwilling to basically assist. We have to figure it out.”
“Obviously, it’s in our best interest that they stay open,” he added. “They are a dynamic to the street that we want to see go forward.”
According to Balans' website, “Balans was born in London and raised in Miami. From the exotic concrete runway of Lincoln Road to the booming next-level hustle of Brickell Ave to the understated creative heartbeat on Biscayne Blvd, we are proud to be a reflection of the communities we’ve taken root in.”
Balans (pronounced BAY-luns) started in 1987 with its first restaurant in London’s Soho neighborhood. Founded by Prady Balan, the restaurant group opened the first U.S. location on Lincoln Road followed by openings in Brickell and on Biscayne Boulevard.
The Biscayne restaurant closed last October. According to a Miami Herald article at the time, Balans CEO Jonathan Balan said that location “wasn’t doing as well as we’d hoped.”
Meanwhile, the Balans Brickell location has been closed for renovations since June. The Mary Brickell Village website gives an expected reopening date of Fall 2019.
We reached out to Jonathan Balan but he has not been available for comment. This is a fluid situation and we'll keep you posted as things progress.
Jonathan is founder Prady Balan’s son. Prady Balan died of a heart attack in 2016 at age 59.
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