It was amazing to be a part of a project that restores the importance of a place with over thirty years of history in South Beach. News Cafe used to be a meeting point for entrepreneurs, celebrities, socialites, residents, and tourists alike. Among its most regular customers was Gianni Versace, who would walk every day from his mansion on Ocean Drive to enjoy an espresso and read Italian newspapers.
News Cafe was founded in 1988 by entrepreneur Mark Soyka in the Hotel de South Beach, now Tony Hotel. At that time, it was a café and newsstand with national and international publications and one of the few dining options in the Art Deco district. By the 90s, with its prime location and 24-hour opening, it had become the trendiest spot in Miami and a must-visit destination for anyone wanting to experience the authentic spirit of South Beach.
After two years of closure due to the pandemic, News Cafe reopened at its original location on March 9 under the management of V&E Restaurant Group, a team of professionals revolutionizing Florida’s culinary scene.
We set out to renovate the design to reflect this new phase while keeping the focus on the elements that built News Cafe’s charm over the years, such as the stunning ceiling, antique wall fixtures, and green awnings. To accomplish this, we acquired new furniture and restored some of the existing pieces.
In addition, we created a photo timeline that features famous personalities who frequented the café, including Tony Goldman, founder of Goldman Properties, the company that managed News Cafe in its early days. Goldman’s visionary focus transformed underappreciated neighborhoods in New York, Philadelphia, and Miami into globally recognized cultural and tourist attractions. One local example is Wynwood Walls, where he acted as a mentor and investor.
To highlight News Cafe’s importance in the South Beach community, we added QR codes with audiovisual content that chronicles its history from inception to the present day. We also recreated The Newsstand, which offers a diverse selection of newspapers, international publications, and merchandise.
As for the exterior, we prioritized a soft palette and subdued lighting to achieve a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
Before and after: The transformation we all like to see
It is always interesting to see how the spaces have changed. Check out our records of the bar and part of the lounge:
We took on the task of restoring vitality to this South Beach cultural landmark with great enthusiasm and commitment.
Working on News Cafe has been a labor of love and earned us a nomination for the Innovative Design category at the 9th Annual City National Bank Better Beach Awards! The ceremony will take place on April 21st, and we are eager to hear the results. Your support and well wishes would mean a lot to us.
We’re signing off with this adorable photo! Until our next post!