City leaders hope to revive the Las Olas Riverfront, which has struggled to keep businesses for years.
Despite its water view and strolling tourists, few tenants occupy the storefronts.
One of few open spots is Metro Grill, where owners are hoping for a turnaround.
"Business is very, very slow, not like it used to be two years ago," said Fabio Mittone, the owner of Metro Grill.
"This is like a gap in our Riverwalk and it's extremely frustrating for us at the city," said Mayor John "Jack" Seiler.
Seiler admits its a sore spot for the city during strong economic times. More luxury condos are being built and tourism is booming.
"If we want Riverwalk to be successful, we have to light it better, we have to patrol it better, gotta maintain it better," said Seiler.
New resident Franco Agostino agreed. He'll open his 8,000-square-foot Italian restaurant, Canale in the Riverfront, later this month.
Agostino believes his calculated risk will become a great opportunity.
"As I look around, I can't see anything wrong with it," he said. "I've got yachts going up and down every day. It's a no brainer to me."