South Beach


Lincoln Road Shopping & Store Guide

by Shopping Editor

Lincoln Road Shopping

Lincoln Road Mall

Lincoln Road Mall offers you one of the finest open-air shopping experiences to be found. Breezing from haute boutiques to top fashion stores, while dining at cozy sidewalk cafes, makes Lincoln Road the place in Miami Beach you won't want to miss.

—Select Stores—

The sportswear's body-conscious tailoring, fine-gauge knitwear and worn-in leather that so captivates the fairer sex ...

Don't write it off as just another beach town t-shirt shop, Alvin's Island is a tropical department store with something for everyone ...

You'll have a hard time not falling in love with the classy vintage aura that embodies the airy, spacious store; the whimsical, beachy ...

Whether it's the distinct Ibiza dance music or alluring aromas that entice you into Base, you'll always be glad you ...

This BCBG is the largest in the state, and you'll have no qualms with its extensive, trendy medley of women's styles, full runway collection ...

Possibly one of the busiest clothing stores on Lincoln Road, Bebe is a familiar name to many and a reliable ...

A Paris-based manufacturer who started crafting swimwear for some pretty major brands way back in 1989, Blue Glue launched their original collection in exotic Bali in 2004 ...

Cache's motto is "confident, sexy, social and stylish." It's a sensible shopping haven for trendy older women who aren't audacious enough to wear low-cut, body-hugging ...

CB2 brings a mix of home goods many compare to the Swedish stylings of IKEA to the shores of South Beach ...

It all started with rebellious FCUK t-shirts and became the worldwide brand, French Connection ...

Forget the overwhelming aroma of sweets in the air,  the size of the store alone is enough to impress even the premier chocolate connoisseur ...

This popular "Fast Fashion" brand has not yet opened, the much-anticipated flagship shop is slated to debut on Lincoln Mall in the Fall of 2012 ...

The preppy aesthetic comes to South Beach, as J.Crew sells traditional sportswear for men, women and children in a range of bright, saturated colors ...

New kid on the block, Journelle Lingerie, is a New York-based retailer offering a well-edited selection from dozens of unique designer lines ...

This high-end skin care business inspires an enthusiastic response from shoppers who flock to its tiny Lincoln Road shop ...

After thirty years or so, it looks like this designer jeans thing is here to stay, and Lucky Brand on Lincoln Road has it wired. We favor the low-rise jeans, of course ...

The best way to describe it: "A drug store on ecstasy," says a store employee. Lively neon wigs cover the right wall; colorful flip flops cover the left ...

Steve Madden is one of America's most popular mid-priced shoe brands with men's women's and children's shoes and accessories ...

Precisely cut lead crystal is the hallmark of Swarovski on Lincoln Road. Whether it's jewelry in the form of necklace and earring sets ...

Super models in stilettos, push-up bras, barely-there thong panties make for an luscious line of clothing at Victoria's Secret ...

Spanish retailer ZARA opens their second South Beach location, this time on Lincoln Road Mall in the iconic 420 Lincoln Road building ...

—Brief History of a Cool Street—

by joseph brown

In 1947, Life Magazine's twelve page feature article on Miami Beach summed it up like this: "Each winter it becomes the Mecca for stage stars, songwriters, playboys, labor leaders, big-money executives and big-money gamblers." Between 1925 and the early 60's Miami Beach was the winter playground for the world's elite. And in the center of it all was a street known as the "Fifth Avenue of the South," Lincoln Road.

At one time Lincoln Road was Miami Beach's top commercial area, with shops, nightclubs, bars, and department stores lining both sides of the street from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Biscayne Bay. Saks Fifth Avenue, Harry Winston Jewelers, and Bonwit-Teller all were there for wealthy resort hotel guests to visit. 

The Road had no less than five movie theaters within its ten block span, including the world famous Carib Theater, with its live parrots in the lobby and mechanical roof that retracted to allow patrons to view feature films under a moonlit Miami Beach sky. 

Wealthy vacationers from the north would often arrive in Miami Beach for the winter season sporting empty steamer trunks to be used to transport their purchases back home again in April. Most of those purchases were made in the stores on Lincoln Road.

South Florida Art CenterHowever, in the late 1950's things began to change. New economic pressures would change the future of Lincoln Road for many years to come. Large new hotels like the Fontainebleau and Americana were designed as self-contained resorts complete with shopping areas and night clubs on premises where guests could spend their tourist dollars. Lounges like the Fontainebleau's LaRonde Room or Eden Roc's Mona Lisa Room attracted world class entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. 

On the popular American Plan breakfast, dinner, and sometimes even cocktails and entertainment were included in the price of the room, so guests began to dine in the hotel's own fine restaurants rather than in local restaurants on Lincoln Road. At one time, the Americana Hotel alone employed over sixty chefs to service its winter guests. All this put great economic pressure on Lincoln Road's shops and restaurants, and the area soon began to feel the strain.

E PLURIBUS/ lapidus

In an attempt to reverse the economic hardship being suffered by local stores and restaurants, the city commissioned famed Miami Beach architect Morris Lapidus, designer of the Fontainebleau Hotel, to transform Lincoln Road into a pedestrian shopping mall in 1960. The Road was closed to auto traffic and Lapidus created a beautiful shopping mall area filled with lush tropical plants, pink sidewalks, fountains, and unique sculptures. 

These changes met with some success, but the turnaround was short-lived. In the years that followed, Lincoln Road's stores closed their doors one by one. Even the crown jewel, Saks Fifth Avenue eventually called it quits.

New social pressures were also waiting just around the corner. Miami Beach's population, especially in South Beach, was shifting toward elderly retirees. At one point 80 percent of South Beach's population was over 65 years of age. These retirees, living in South Beach's old hotels and apartment buildings on low fixed incomes became a powerful political force and soon began resisting new taxes and bond issues, thus denying the city much needed revenue for infrastructure improvements.

Castro's Mariel Boatlift brought in new residents at the lower end of the socio-economic scale. Of the 250,000 Marielitos allowed to come to the United States during the boatlift, it is estimated that 10 percent of this number were criminals straight out of Cuban jails. The crime rate in South Beach soared. 

To compound the problem, Miami in the 1980's also had a slight "Colombian Marching Powder" problem to contend with. Check any Miami Vice re-run for details.

At its low point, most of Lincoln Road's shops stood vacant. The Road's golden days were seemingly gone forever.

But, in the late 80's when South Beach began its resurgence, development progressed in much the same way that the island's original development occurred in the early part of this century, namely, from the south, northward. Tony Goldman's Park Central Hotel, the News Cafe and the Cardozo Hotel/Restaurant all sprang to life in just a few short years. South Beach's redevelopment was like a tidal wave breaking right up Ocean Drive.

And as Ocean Drive turned around, so did Lincoln Road. Less touristy and more of a hip community, the Road is now blossoming into South Beach's creative district with artists and media production companies gravitating to the area at a steady pace.

So, will Lincoln Road recapture its glory days of the past, when movie stars and high rollers dressed in tropical white outfits strolled its sidewalks? Well, it turns out that shopping at Saks has given way to pumping iron with the hard bodies at Idol's Gym, but other than that, things are basically the same as they were in the 1930's; beautiful weather, beautiful surroundings, and beautiful people. Recapture the glory days? Absolutely. Except, forget the part about "strolling in a white outfit." These days it's roller-blades and skin-tights. Just ask one of the hard-bodies skating by. They should know.

Lincoln Road Mall Details

4.5 - 4.5 stars / 84 reviews across the Web
1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Phone: (305) 534-4739
Price: $$$
Payment: Cash, Credit Card
Parking: Parking garage one block north
Hours: Mo-Su 10am - 12am
Lincoln Road Stores
Allsaints Spitalfields
Alvin's Island
BCBG Max Azria
Blue Glue
French Connection
J. Crew
Lucky Brand
Steve Madden
Victoria's Secret
Shopping Areas
5th & Alton
Bal Harbour Shops
Collins Avenue
DiLido Shops
Lincoln Road
Miami Shopping

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