SooWoo Opens, Then Quickly Closes on South Beach

Photo by Carla Torres
Closed in three months
Three short months into business, SooWoo -- a Japanese/Korean restaurant located just off Fifth and Washington Avenue on South Beach -- has shuttered its doors. The place, which was in a variety of locales before moving to the Beach, got off to a rocky start after several employees claimed -- and management denied -- that they hadn't been paid.

As of yesterday, all of the teppanyaki tables had been cleared out of the SoBe location and the only thing that remained was the center bar. The PR firm that represents the restaurant, Tara Ink, confirmed the place had closed permanently. Nick D'Annunzio said the closure was due to lack of rent payment, thus causing the landlord to take action.

The restaurant's opening chef, Joe Bonavita Jr., walked out the day after Christmas. "I was paid three weeks of works for four months," he told New Times. "I've never seen a restaurant run like this."

See also: SooWoo Bringing Teppanyaki, Korean/Japanese Cuisine to South Beach

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Talde at Thompson Miami Beach: "You Build on Locals"

Photo courtesy of Talde
Dale Talde and partners David Massoni and John Bush bring Talde to Miami Beach
Dale Talde is bringing his Brooklyn born-and-bred Talde to the Thompson Miami Beach Hotel this summer.

Talde, along with partners David Massoni and John Bush, has already begun work on the space, located in the southeast corner of the hotel. Although Talde is situated in what can be described as a plush resort hotel (and sharing real estate with veteran toque Michelle Bernstein), the two-time Top Chef contestant has visions of his Talde being anything but an eatery for the 1 percent.

On the contrary, Talde envisions his Miami Beach eatery as a place to grab dumplings and noodles in a casual yet elegant setting. But the chef does recognize the contrast between Park Slope and Miami Beach. "At the beach, you want fresh, bright, and light, and my food can totally translate."

See also: Michelle Bernstein Reappears With Panache at Seagrape

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Make Irish Truffles With Kerrygold's New Irish Cream Liqueur (Recipe)

Photo by Carla Torres
Lovers of Irish cream always keep their home bar well stocked with Bailey's. But there's a boozy Irish cream on the market, and it's just as easy to guzzle.

You might already be acquainted with Kerrygold from your visits to the cheese and butter aisle at Publix. The Irish brand has been around for half a century and is carried in more than 90 countries, but now it's expanding its dairy portfolio to include alcohol. And Florida is one of the only two markets to carry the Irish cream liqueur.

See also: Have an Aphrodisiac Dinner at Veganaroma for Valentine's Day

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Total Wine & More Coming to South Beach

Courtesy of Total Wine & More
Total Wine is opening in South Beach
Total Wine & More is coming to South Beach. The Next Time reported that the wine and spirits retailer is headed to the Fifth & Alton shopping center.

New Times has confirmed that the Maryland-based retailer has inked a lease deal to open a store in the former Staples spot. Edward Cooper, vice president of public affairs and community relations, said, "We are really excited about opening a location in South Beach and believe that this is an area and a demographic that fits in with our concept."

See also: Saint Arnold, Texas' Oldest Craft Brewery, Launching in Miami

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Uncle Tom's Barbecue Opens in Hialeah

Courtesy of Uncle Tom's Barbecue
Uncle Tom's opens in Hialeah
Uncle Tom's Barbecue is opening up its second location today, in Hialeah.

The restaurant, which has been serving ribs and chicken to Miamians since 1948, will officially open its doors at 2200 Palm Ave. with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. City of Hialeah mayor Carlos Hernandez, along with Dennis Fantis (son of Uncle Tom's founder, Tom Fantis), will do the honors of officially marking the grand opening.

Uncle Tom's Ariel Rodriguez said that opening a Hieleah location "wasn't in the plans", until an act of sheer fate happened.

See also: Uncle Tom's Barbecue Begins Delivery Service, Donates Money to ALS Association

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Kevin Aoki, Roman Jones to Open Otabe Japanese BBQ Near Wynwood

Rendering courtesy of Canvas.
Otabe will be located on the ground floor of Canvas.
Miami developers have big plans for the Arts & Entertainment District. This area, just south of Wynwood, is home to the Adrienne Arsht Center, Pérez Art Museum Miami, and the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science.

One of the latest projects to begin is Canvas Condos, a 513-unit, 36-story condominium to be located at 1630 NE First Ave.

Although groundbreaking won't happen until later this year, with a completion date of 2017, there's already buzz about the restaurant to be located in the space.

See also: El Bulli Veteran Najat Kaanache on Opening of Piripi: "We're Very Close"

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Jose Mendin, Giorgio Rapicavoli Are Only Miamians to Receive James Beard Nods

Photo by Hector Torres
Jose Mendin gets a Beard nod.
The 2015 James Beard Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists have been announced, and although Miami has grown by leaps and bounds as a food city, it looks like the Beard Foundation gave us the shaft once again, with only two Miami chefs getting semifinalist nods from the New York-based organization. A Beard Award is the Tony or Oscar of the food world.

Pubbelly's Jose Mendin and Eating House's Giorgio Rapicavoli have both been named semifinalists in the Best Chef: South category, along with 18 other chefs from New Orleans to Orlando. For the complete list of semifinalists, see

See also: Blackbrick, Panther Coffee, Azucar, Wynwood Brewing, JoJo Tea Head to James Beard House

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Lewellyn's Chicken & Biscuits: John Kunkel Expands Empire

Photo by
Lewellyn's famous fried chicken is coming to UM.
50 Eggs' John Kunkel is on a world-domination binge.

Fresh on the heels of the announcement of his new BTW restaurant in the former Lime Space on Alton Road, the restaurateur/entrepreneur is planning a fast-casual fried chicken restaurant.

See also: BTW (Burgers, Tacos, Whiskey) to Open Thursday in Former Lime Spot

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Bunnie Cakes Owner Mariana Cortez and Husband Welcome Daughter Stella

Categories: Food News

Courtesy of Mariana Cortez
Baby Stella.

It's a girl! Bunnie Cakes owner Mariana Cortez gave birth over the weekend, adding little Stella to her and husband Sebas' lovely family.

Stella was due Valentine's Day (Bunnie Cakes' busiest holiday), but she waited until February 15 to make her arrival. Both mother and father are overjoyed about their new addition.

See also: Mariana Cortez of Bunnie Cakes Talks Cupcake Wars, Vegan Baking, and Valentine's Day

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5 Napkin Grill Closed After Kitchen Fire

Courtesy of 5 Napkin Grill
Is 5 Napkin Grill closed?
5 Napkin Grill and 5 Napkin Express, the grab-and-go component of the restaurant, are both closed.

The restaurant, which has three locations in New York City and one in Boston, opened on Lincoln Road in South Beach in 2011 and proved to be a welcome addition to what was then a pedestrian mall filled with unique shops, cafés, and restaurants.

See also: BTW (Burgers, Tacos, Whiskey) to Open Thursday in Former Lime Spot

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