Earlier this year, Esquire magazine released its Best New Restaurants of the Year list and featured the Miami seafood restaurant Area 31, calling Chef John Critchley “Miami’s most exciting new chef.” Now diners will have a harder time sampling its cuisine: This week Area 31, housed in the Epic Hotel and named for the sustainable patch of ocean from which the restaurant sources most of its seafood, was shuttered indefinitely—as was the Epic—when three guests at the hotel fell ill from Legionnaires’ disease, an infectious disease caused by bacteria in the water. When the Miami New Times looked into the outbreak, it found that one hotel guest who had become infected with the disease had died in September of this year. Upon investigation, the paper identified the hotel’s chlorine-removing water-filtration system as the source of the bacteria.
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