Roosterfish had been on a long lease so the increase to market was probably 5x. Do the math, how many drinks would you have to sell per day just to cover that rent? And in retail, you really don't want rents to be more than 5% of gross sales.
We personally know almost every gay bar & restaurant owner in Wilton Manors. And a few in Key West. So we know from the gay business owners themselves that the model you describe of rising operating costs is correct. The operators eventually fall below the profitability point and must sell.
It would seem crazy on the part of the landlords, to ruin a cash cow for themselves. But some also want to cash-out, by selling the property for condo development at a cash windfall, a great money maker down here (until we have another housing bubble burst). Or for a really large retail operation.
But Wilton Manors has a 4-story building limit, so no mega condos or apartments are possible. Plus the first floors along the sidewalk must be devoted solely to commercial business rentals. That sorta limits the property speculators, as intended.
But it works somewhat imperfectly, and the commercial rent is sky-high, so there's as much vacant space as occupied. And many businesses displaced when their former buildings were sold and torn down for these condos and city townhouses, have moved to neighboring Oakland Park for lower costs. Until, of course, the developers decide to exploit that latest opportunity.
It's a never-ending cycle. Nor WILL it end.