NewsPalm Beach CountyRegion C Palm Beach CountyLake Worth Beach

Actions

Supporters attend Lake Worth Beach City Commission meeting in effort to save Benny's on the Beach

'It's one of Lake Worth's biggest landmarks,' Ryan Miller says
Posted at 10:55 PM, May 02, 2023

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — After news surfaced last month that Benny's on the Beach could be closing, Lake Worth Beach officials said they've been negotiating with the owner to find a compromise that works for both the city and the business.

Supporters of the beach-side venue were at City Hall on Tuesday holding signs, and chanting "Save Benny's."

Among the supporters who attended was Ryan Miller.

"If they leave, it's not certain that anyone would move in there," Miller said.

More than 50 people were at the event in an effort to keep Benny's on the Beach at the Lake Worth Pier.

Ryan Miller was among the supporters who showed up Tuesday to voice his support for Benny's on the Beach.
Ryan Miller was among the supporters who showed up Tuesday to voice his support for Benny's on the Beach.

"It's one of Lake Worth's biggest landmarks," Miller said. "To take that away from a city that doesn't have the Gulfstream [Hotel] anymore, our pool is shut down. It's just taking away another landmark of ours, and we can't have that."

The crowd moved into city commission chambers where some in attendance applauded the city council for voting not to extend the restaurant's lease, despite a proposal to raise its rent by 33%.

"Thank you for standing up to the folks in this city who would prefer a new pool at the beach rather than renew a sweetheart deal lease for a man making millions off of a jewel of a beach," a woman at Tuesday's council meeting said.

Reinaldo Diaz was one of the commissioners who voted not to extend lease for Benny's on the Beach

Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Reinaldo Diaz discusses a possible lease agreement regarding the future of Benny's on the Beach.
Lake Worth Beach Commissioner Reinaldo Diaz discusses a possible lease agreement regarding the future of Benny's on the Beach.

"We need to not sell ourselves short on that most valuable asset," Diaz said. "We need to make sure that we get paid a reasonable rate so we can reinvest in that building."

The city has been in negotiations with the owner of Benny's in an effort to find a rent that is in line with other similar restaurants in Florida.

"This is a long-term agreement. It's 10 years," Diaz said. "We want to make sure we make a sound agreement and a sound choice that isn't going to put us in a bad position in the future."

The city attorney said they feel they've made good progress and plan to hold a special meeting next week, which they hope will be an agreement.