Todd Erickson on Haven's Third Anniversary: "Don't Rest on Your Laurels"
It's hard to believe, but Haven is celebrating its third anniversary this evening.
Todd Erickson and Haven mark their third anniversary tonight.
The restaurant, touted as a gastro-lounge, opened in May 2011 and what could have been a typical SoBe/douchebag mix of house music, videos, and cocktails was tempered by the talents of its executive chef, Todd Erickson.
As Lee Klein put it in his July 2011 review of the restaurant/lounge, "Haven flashes a bright young chef in Todd Erickson, whose gastronomic smarts make this place more than just a kick-ass 21st-century psychedelic lounge."
Now, three year later, chef Erickson is a major player in Miami's culinary scene, with the addition of Huahua's Taqueria and the continued success of Haven. We spoke with Erickson about what he's learned over the past few years, and what we can look forward to including more dinner-friendly seating, an updated menu, and an expansion of the brand.
See also: Haven: A Gastro-Lounge for Hipsters
New Times: How has the first year of Haven gone -- what were your expectations and were they met?
Todd Erickson: The first three years at Haven have been incredible. I think we have really been a great addition to the Miami culinary and entertainment scene. Mike [Boles], Ben [Arndt], Niloy [Thakkar] and I had the expectations of becoming the place that locals would call their own. Over the years we have become the go-to local's spot for incredible food and expertly crafted cocktails. Our expectations have been met, but now is the time to exceed them.
What's one thing you've learned since opening Haven?
Don't rest on your laurels, listen to your guests, and give them what they want.
Right before Haven opened, you had high hopes for Haven being a local's favorite, telling me, "This is your living room, I want you to come in, relax and enjoy it." -- Still true?
Ha! I had forgotten that until you had said it. I guess that meant I answered the first question very truthfully. Of course it still applies. We want every guest to come in and feel comfortable, relax, enjoy our food, drinks, and hospitality. We'll even do the dishes!