Urban Oxy: Panther Coffee and Inexpensive Eats Coming to Downtown, South Beach, Coral Gables
In Miami's topsy-turvy culinary landscape, restaurants come and go quicker than a Kim Kardashian marriage. Short Order's list of monthly closings is proof that all the money in the world can't guarantee success. But more often than not, the concepts that stick share one common ingredient: passion.
All photos by Hannah Sentenac
There's no shortage of that "it" factor behind Miami's newest coffee shop and inexpensive eatery, Urban Oxy. The spot, which will serve Panther Coffee at its three upcoming locations, is a labor of love by restaurateur Emmanuel Garcia Coll. Coll worked with Danny Meyer on Shake Shack, is a BurgerFi franchisee, and has helped build countless other restaurants and franchises.
Coll is one of three partners in the international BGM Group, an umbrella for hundreds of projects. Prior to that, he graduated at the top of his class from the Culinary Institute of America and worked his way around the restaurant industry before moving into fast-casual concepts.
Urban Oxy is a little different from his other endeavors. Coll dreamed up the concept and built the place from scratch -- literally constructing tables, hammering wood onto the walls, and essentially handcrafting every element of the upbeat, airy space. It took a lot of trips to the Home Depot, he says.
The downtown location, at 101 NE Second Ave., boasts blue walls, pale wood paneling, and black chalkboards where patrons can express themselves artistically. "I want them to write on it, go crazy. In the end, it's their coffeehouse, not mine," Coll says.
Coll is all about creating local community -- a "coffeehouse of the people." And while he eventually wants to extend the Urban Oxy concept to other cities, it's fundamentally about hometown charm. "Yes, we have the backup to do many of these, but I want it to always be sort of homegrown."