Cooper Avenue, the multi-use restaurant/bar/deli near the New World Symphony, suddenly shuttered its doors in December, with restaurant partner Amir Ben-Zion citing problems with the air conditioning and ventilation system as the reason for the restaurant's failure.
Now, about six months after the closure, a group of investors called OBK Project LLC, along with Ben-Zion's former partner Roman Cherstvov, have been given the go-ahead by the City of Miami Beach to take over the property and develop a "meat and seafood restaurant with beer brewery."
The approval came during yesterday's commission meeting, under Agenda item R7A.
According to Corporation Wiki, the OBK Project LLC consists of Eugene Alekseychenko and Oleg Elyutin. When asked by Miami Beach Commissioners about the group's prior restaurant experience, Alekseychenko said that his group owns Sopranos Cafe, manages four food court establishments in Aventura Mall, and has a dozen restaurants in Russia.
According to the deal struck yesterday, OBK Project LLC will pay to have the contractor's lien against the city (approximately $75,000) released, relocate the troubled A/C system to the roof, pay a construction deposit, and pay several month's back rent owed to the city by Penn 17 LLC (Cooper Avenue's ownership company) in exchange for the property. Other terms of the new lease include OBK paying deferred half-rent (about $30,200) from July - December 2013, with repayment of the other half starting in 2016.
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Alekseychenko told the city his restaurant will succeed in the space because of his concept, stating that whenever people went into Cooper Avenue they didn't know whether they were in a restaurant or a market or a bakery and that "Miami Beach doesn't have a brewery."
The new brewery and restaurant could open as early as fall 2013.