/ The Miami Guide
Miami — By themiamiguide on November 5, 2009 at 12:33 pm

MiMo’s New Mojo – Miami’s Upper East Side Reborn

 How often do you get to see one small section of a big city revive its architectural roots along with its own community of area  shops, dining and entertainment — bringing back along the way not only local residents but people who pick up on its reborn buzz?  That’s what the handful of city blocks dubbed MiMo (meaning Miami Modern thanks to its preserved architecture and buildings dating back to the Fifties and Sixties). 

MiMo Pendant (credit: H. Peat)

MiMo Pendant (credit: H. Peat)

The general term “Miami Modernism”, or “MiMo” only came into being in more recent years to refer to the particular architectural phenomenon that developed around Miami in those earlier decades. The term originated with Miami Beach author Randall C. Robinson and interior designer Teri D’Amico, both longtime preservation champions of the style and this district - nowadays, you see it splashed on the huge pendants hanging from lightpoles along  Biscayne.  Beyond the Upper East Side, major examples of “MiMO” architecture were the Fontainebleau HotelDeauville, and Di Lido hotels by Deco architect Morris Lapidus.

While the MiMo architectural legacy can still be found in renovated glory at more than one point around the greater city limits, it is the several blocks stretching from N.E. 50th St. north to N.E. 77th St. along Biscayne Boulevard that exist as a distinct MiMo neighborhood.  Nowadays, this area has been preserved as the MiMo Biscayne Boulevard Historic District (or “MiMo on BiBo”).   There are several sides of MiMo which you can explore within the distinct neighborhood that has decided to embrace this branding.  Many annual festivals are held to promote MiMo architecture, such as “Cinco de MiMo” in early May.  But if you want to make a spur of the moment vsit to browse, shop or dine around the Upper East Side on your own schedule, consider some of the following new fixtures:  

Michy’s - a dining hotspot by leading chef/restaurauteur Michelle Bernstein

Soyka’s - 5582 N.E. 4th Court, Miami. 

Uva 69 Bar & Restaurant - restaurant with patio.

Vagabond Motel - 7301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.  Under renovation – but interesting just for its exterior.

Julian Chang’s Boutique - representing the infusion of fashion into the district.

For more on the MiMo style and the Upper East Side area, visit:

  •  www.miamimodern.net  -  a website portal  for more insight on the people and developments that nurtured the style and growth of the Miami Modern movement  in this section of the city;
  • MiMo: Miami Modern Revealed, by Eric P. Nash  and Randall C. Robinson, Jr.   (Chronicle Books, 2004) – a definitive  book on the appearance of the Miami Modern phenomenon and the architects prominent in making it happen.  Randall Robinson is a longtime figure on the Miami preservation front — you can read more about his interesting earlier years in the city in the just published Miami Babylon: Crime, Wealth & Power by Gerald Posner (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009);
  • Take a “Historic Walking Tour of MiMo” neighborhood walk – check the MiMo Boulevard website at for upcoming walks that feature stops at area highlights — a recent inaugural event began at 55th Street Station in the Soyka restaurant parking lot to sample the Upper East Side Green Market, then moved on to the landmark Vagabond Hotel (7301 Biscayne Boulevard), and concluded with a 12-stop local tasting tour of area restaurants.

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