After just a six-month run, Ted's at YoungArts is set to close after its last dinner service this Saturday, June 20. The Miami Herald reports the eatery will "cease operation as an ongoing restaurant to focus on alumni performances."
The restaurant/performance space, located on the seventh floor of YoungArts Tower, will undergo a transition from a restaurant and lounge operating four nights a week to an artistic venue featuring the works of YoungArts alumni. In September, the space will feature a series of performances and cultural events with dinner by Starr Restaurants one weekend per month. In addition, the space will be open for private events.
According to a spokesperson for Ted's, no jobs will be lost during or after the transition, although it is not known whether the front- and back-of-house staff will continue at Ted's or will be absorbed by Stephen Starr's other Miami restaurants, including Verde at PAMM and the Continental, set to open this summer at the Aloft South Beach on Collins Avenue at 23rd Street.
According to Esther Park, director of campus programming for YoungArts, this news means the campus will be able to give most of its attention to its arts programs. "Our focus for Ted's has always been to present the best young and emerging artists and share their incredible talents with the community.
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"Now, with this new format, we will have the fluidity to showcase not just an incredible jazz trip or a stunning vocalist but to present all art forms, from innovative visual arts presentations to interactive dinner theater. YoungArts focuses on all artistic disciplines, and when Ted's returns this fall, this will be the place to delight all our senses."
The restaurant/performance space, named after its patron Ted Arison, opened last December 17 as an artistic and culinary collaboration between the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) and Starr Restaurants Catering Group, helmed by restaurateur Stephen Starr. (Starr, by the way, was named Best Restaurateur 2015 by New Times.) The restaurant is decked out with state-of-the-art audio/visual capabilities, including a 360-degree HD video projector and acoustic design by Nagata Acoustics.
In a review, New Times' Zachary Fagenson said Ted's "embodies the breathless praise often lavished on Biscayne as an emerging arts district." Though Ted's is certainly located in one of Miami's most up-and-coming neighborhoods, with an explosion of condos being erected, the restaurant's spot, perched high atop the former Bacardi building, also saw no drive-by or foot traffic to help it along. That, coupled with the fact that the space was open only four nights a week, might have proved more burden than reward for the artistic foundation.