This is one of those stories we keep writing over and over, except the names change: A new restaurant project, called Trio On The Bay, is moving into the 79th Street Causeway locale. You probably know the spot -- it's the one with a sprawling outdoor patio and gorgeous bay views. It was most recently home to The Bay, but if you blinked you would have missed that one.
Can Trio succeed where so many others have failed? Klime Kovaceski, whom locals will remember fondly from his many years as chef/owner of Crystal Cafe on Miami Beach, certainly thinks so.
"Having Louie Spetrini at the helm as GM, and Gerry Kelly as the nightlife operator, I feel we have a winning combination," says the Macedonian-born chef, who will complete the team by helming Trio's restaurant kitchen. Locals are also quite familiar with Gerry Kelly, famed for Bash, Liquid, Lux, and 16 years of creating Miami nightclub action. Spetrini was most recently GM at The Water Club.
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Trio aims "to create a casual yet upscale dining, drinking, dancing and entertainment environment," with 14,000 square feet of indoor space and a 10,000-square-foot patio area. A 2,000-square-foot dance floor, positioned in the center of the room, will feature cutting-edge sound and lighting, and a laser light show, too (late hours, after dining, that is). A pair of large bars will be stationed inside, with satellite bars serving those outdoors -- including one that's tiki-style. A couple of fire pits are being installed as well. Valet and a free lot for over 400 cars eliminates the hassles of parking.
When I asked Kovaceski what his goal was coming in as chef of Trio, he replied "To bring something that I think Miami is missing in terms of quality, consistency, and value." He intends to put some of the "classic dishes which I am known for" on the menu, plus "some new editions that I have added to my repertoire." Fans of Crystal Cafe -- and there are many -- will be pleased to note that Klime's signature shrimp cakes will be on the new bill of fare. Price range will be "$6 to $12" for appetizers, "and entrees will range from $14 to $28." The opening date for the club is sometime in March. For the restaurant, "We are shooting for an opening around the first of April."
We'll speak in more detail with chef Kovaceski in a couple of weeks, when the property takes shape and more details have been ironed out.