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Owner of Doc's All American in Delray Beach withdraws application for historic designation

Future of 1950s-era restaurant unknown
Doc's All American restaurant in Delray Beach
Posted at 4:21 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 17:41:42-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The owner of an iconic ice cream and burger restaurant in Delray Beach will no longer seek historic designation for the site.

Doc's All American restaurant closed earlier this year, and there was concern that the local favorite would be gone forever.

During Tuesday's commission meeting, there was an impromptu public comment about the site with several people sharing their love for the 1950s restaurant.

"Every time I picked her up from school, we used to go there and have shakes," said one speaker.

"That would be where I would get lunch, great milkshakes," said another person.

Delray Beach commission meeting Oct. 5, 2021
Patrons of Doc's restaurant shared their thoughts about the venue during a city commission meeting held on Oct. 5, 2021.

It was memory after memory of people showing their support for the restaurant.

The commission voted 5-0 to move forward with making Doc's a historic site.

But the future of the restaurant is unknown after the commission rejected a rezoning application for a property next to the restaurant.

The rezoning would have allowed more density for a three-story, multi-use building.

"We were ready to go, and we thought we would be approved last night," said attorney Neil Schiller, who represents the landowner and developer.

Attorney Neil Schiller speaks about the future of Doc's Restaurant in Delray Beach, Oct. 6, 2021
Attorney Neil Schiller speaks about the future of the iconic restaurant in Delray Beach.

He said they were hopeful the city would approve the rezoning after they started the process to make Doc's a historic site.

In a letter sent to the city late Wednesday, the group said they plan to include Doc's into future proposals, but they are withdrawing their application for a historic designation.

"We are shocked about what happened last night, and we are trying to figure out what the next positive step is for us and the community," Schiller said.

Below is the letter sent to the city of Delray Beach by the property owner regarding the historic designation: