Miami Florida Sports Bar Scully’s Tavern Closes Permanently

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The Scully Tavern is closing after co-owner Chris Hirsh passed away in September 2021 and his wife, Cass, suffered a debilitating injury a year earlier.

For the Miami Herald

Scully’s Tavern has become a Kendall favorite over the past 32 years, providing locals with everything they wanted in a neighborhood sports bar – and a few things no one thought to ask for.

Owner Chris Hirsh, who had worked at a French restaurant Coral Gables, thought to fill the menu with surprises that caught the attention of celebrity chef Guy Fieri. Belgian snail cooked in garlic butter and served in sautéed mushroom caps. Potato crusted mahi sandwiches. Twice-fried and grilled chicken wings, mixed with garlic scampi.

And plenty of TVs where locals could watch South Florida sports behind an old-fashioned polished wooden bar.

But after a tragic year for the couple who owned the bar, Scully’s has closed its doors for good.

Hirsh died on September 7 after a brief illness and two weeks in hospital, according to a Gofundme started for the family. His death came exactly one year after his wife and restaurant partner Cass fell down a staircase at their home in September 2020 and broke her back, injuring her spine, she told WSVN in October.

“It was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make, especially without my beloved Chris by my side,” Cass Hirsh wrote on December 28 on Scully’s Facebook page. “I am terribly saddened to have to make this announcement, but since Chris passed away and my physical limitations from the accident last year, I have found myself unable to continue.”

Scully’s was the epitome of a mom’s favorite and beloved local pop. This caught the attention of Fieri, who featured the tavern on his “Diners, Drive-ins & Dives” TV show in 2009. He spoke to his large audience about Cass, the former flight attendant, and Chris , a line cook who then went into carpentry, who put all their savings into Scully’s.

“It didn’t sound like much. It’s here in a mall, but they had a plan, ”Fieri says in the episode. “They weren’t going to do it the standard way.”

Scully has everything you would expect. Rock ‘n’ roll bands performing live on weekends. Enough TVs for every sport. And a laid back mom and pop feel that locals couldn’t even get from a Flanigan.

Chris Hirsh has taken it to another level by dressing his kitchen team in chef whites and adding layered flavors to standard dishes. That meant parsley and Parmesan for breading the fish and chip sandwich, Provencal seasonings for the mussels and everything from tartar sauce to house salad croutons.

And everyone in the area was aware of the couple’s pledge to cook free meals on Thanksgiving Eve and Christmas Eve.

But the family restaurant could not withstand consecutive hits. Cass’ fall and recovery were documented by the TV channel: she needed 10 months of intense physical therapy and lost feeling in one hand.

Then, on the anniversary of his fall, Chris Hirsh died of an unspecified illness. He had no medical insurance and Cass was left with growing debt and funeral bills, according to the Gofundme page where the Cassandra L. Hirsh Irrevocable Trust is listed as a beneficiary. the page raised over $ 10,000 towards a goal of $ 100,000.

“It’s been pretty unbearable without him,” Cass Hirsh wrote on Facebook after a memorial in September. “Each day I find it difficult to hold on, but with the outpouring of love, support and kind words, I take a step forward.”

For more information on the Gofundme page, search for Chris Hirsh on Gofundme.com.

This story was originally published December 30, 2021 6:00 a.m.

Carlos Frías, food editor of the Miami Herald, won the 2018 James Beard Award for excellence in his coverage of the food industry. A native of Miami, he is also the author of the memoir “Take Me With You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba”.


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