Miami – Neil, an investment banker from Queens, couldn’t join his wife and 4 children in Miami for the annual mid-winter vacation due to some pressing business at work. Instead of staying in his now deceased grandparents’ apartment in Miami Beach, his wife and children stayed at the relatively new Surfside Grand Beach Hotel in Bal Harbor. Instead of renting a car, they used Uber for the few trips they took and enjoyed being just a block away from what has become “Kosher Restaurant Alley” on Harding Avenue. Some of the city’s best kosher restaurants are located there, including Cine Cite, Harbor Grill, Kosh, Rustiko and more. They even ordered pizza from a nearby kosher pizza parlor poolside. Another Yuppie-type from the Five Towns spent the five vacation days restaurant hopping, even visiting Zak the Baker, famous for his Wynwood bakery cafe, who recently replaced the bakery cafe with a kosher deli and is opening a separate kosher bakery a block away. Back on Arthur Godfrey Road, there is still the iconic Shem Tov and several other eateries as there are many good restaurants in the Waterways in Aventura.
According to Elan Kornblum, President of the Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine (GreatKosherRestaurants.com), the leading authority on kosher restaurants, the Zika virus had hurt the restaurants in 2016, including the summer, and they did not recover until the mid-winter break last month. The changes in demographics are evident in every way, not only in the growing number of themed kosher restaurants but in the number of kosher items featured if chains like Publix and Winn Dixie as well as Costco.