When Curbed and exMiami.org reported last week that Pasha's on Lincoln Road would be closing soon, lovers of healthful, affordable, quick, and easy food -- a rarity on South Beach -- cried out with concern. But Short Order is here to set the record straight and calm your falafel-induced fears.
We spoke with Antonio Ellek, co-founder and CEO of Pasha's, the homegrown fast casual chain that serves healthy Mediterranean eats, and he assured us that South Beach won't be without a Pasha's for long, if at all. Keep reading after the jump for the details.
"We're planning to close the location because the rent has increased, and we're in the process of looking for a new one in a different place in South Beach," Ellek says. "We're in the process of choosing between a couple of locations."
The spot at 900 Lincoln Road was the Pasha's restaurant that started it all. There are six other locations around Miami, and the original has garnered a loyal local following since it opened ten years ago. Ellek says he likes Lincoln Road, but they don't need such a big space.
"We have a two floors. That's well over 4,000 square feet, so we're not utilizing the space properly," he says. "If we find a smaller place on Lincoln Road, we'll take it. It depends on everything in terms of timing and availability."
Pasha's has signed a short-term renewal contract at its current Lincoln Road location, but the ending date of the extension is confidential. Meanwhile the owners are looking at either a smaller option on Lincoln Road or a location off of the street mall but nearby in the South Beach vicinity.
"The ideal situation would be to basically open the new location and then close this location, but I don't know what will happen," Ellek says.
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When asked about the date for which these changes would take place, Ellek called the situation a moving target. "There are factors that we're in control of and some that we're not in control of. Yes, we have the opportunity of taking a location right now. ... But we've been in the market for more than 10 years and we have loyal customers, and we want to make sure it's the proper location, not the first location we find."
However, if it comes down to waiting on a smaller space on Lincoln Road to open, or being able to snatch up an appropriate off-Lincoln Road location sooner, the plan is to go for the latter, Ellek told Short Order.
Pasha's is one of the few quick and affordable eateries left on Lincoln Road. Having it leave Lincoln would be a sad loss for the Miami Beach locals whose wallets aren't as large as those big-budget tourists. But if the restaurant ends up moving elsewhere on South Beach, we'll be the first ones in line, ordering a platter of beef adana. Just look for us sitting in the corner, smothering our basmati rice and grilled veggies in that delicious aioli.