Pubbelly Takes on Sushi and Tapas With Two New Eateries
By Alexandra Leon
First published on July 25, 2011 for The Miami New Times
Almost a year after opening Pubbelly, the dream team behind South Beach's favorite Asian-inspired gastropub is bringing two new distinct flavors to Miami. Owners Andreas Schreiner, Sergio Navarro, and Jose Mendin are opening Pubbelly Sushi and Barceloneta Spanish Bistro & Mercat in the same building that houses Pubbelly.
Barceloneta -- poised to transform the old Picnic space into a European bistro in late September -- will focus on Catalan cuisine with a slight French influence. This means the tapas we love, along with seafood, meats, and marmalades that can be bought market style. The boys are bringing in new partner and chef Juliana Gonzales to reinvent classic dishes like tortilla de patatas and gambas al ajillo. Desserts and drinks will also be distinctly European, so you can munch on a petit four in between sips of sangria. All the ingredients will either be bought locally or imported directly from Europe.
Pubbelly Sushi will make a sushi tavern out of the old Bartolome space early in October, mimicking the pub style decor of Pubbelly. The menu will meld American and Japanese favorites, offering both sushi and grilled robata dishes. But just like it's sister restaurant, nothing is conventional. Traditional Japanese seafood meets Western influences in dishes like the southern-fried soft shell crab and the Buffalo-style rockshrimp tempura. Sakes from around the world will also be used in creative cocktails. To add to the hip cuisine, Miami graffiti artists will grace Pubbelly Sushi's walls with their designs.
We spoke with Schreiner about the expansion and he assured us the experience would be just as personal as it is at Pubbelly.
New Times: How did the idea of expansion come into play?
Andreas Schreiner: We always wanted to develop new concepts and the opportunity arose to take over the failed spaces next to us. It made sense to continue bringing great food and value to the neighborhood. The locations allow us to be completely hands on in every restaurant everyday ensuring quality since they are next to each other.
I can see how sushi fits in with Pubbelly's Asian inspired fare... How did you incorporate Spanish food to fit into that concept?
The two new restaurants are completely separate concepts. Pubbelly Sushi will have the soul and feel of Pubbelly, but the food will strictly be Sushi & Robata with a twist, and of course will keep with our philosophy of innovation and value.
Do any of you have a Spanish background?
Yes, my partner at Pubbelly, Sergio Navarro, and new partner at Barceloneta, Manuel Suarez, are both from Spain. Juliana, the chef, and Jose Mendin, my other partner, both worked in Spain and love the cuisine.
Where will the French influence come out at Barceloneta?
We wanted to combine the aspects of a cool french bistro with the cuisine of Spain. Many of the dishes, especially in Catalonia, have similarities to French cuisine. Both countries share an amazing food culture that play off each other very well. Imagine a restaurant where Barcelona meets Provence.
How long have you been planning the expansion?
Its been our dream to have our own place, and after we did Pubbelly we were still hungry for more. Miami is such a great city that we are very excited to continue and re-shape its food scene especially providing amazing food and value for locals.
How will Barlceloneta and Pubbelly Sushi be different from other similar concept restaurants?
There is nothing like them anywhere in Miami. The feel of the place is warm and cozy, the food is hand crafted and cooked for you, and the partners are there every day taking personal care of you. I don't know any owners in Miami that work their establishments, and that's why we are different.
What are you looking forward to the most in taking on these two new ventures?
Seeing the three restaurants packed, and the whole block of 20th Street between Bay Road and Purdy Avenue full of life and excitement.
What do you hope people will take away from these new styles of Pubbelly food?
We hope to bring a new category of neighborhood restaurants to Miami with honest, flavorful food. Restaurants that have meaning and soul to them, and that when you leave you can't wait to come back.
Barceloneta Spanish Bistro & Mercat is set to open late September at 1410 20th Street, Miami Beach. It will serve dinner every day from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Pubbelly Sushi is set to open late October at 1422 20th Street, Miami Beach. It will serve lunch every day from noon to 5 p.m., and dinner Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to midnight, Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
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