Steve Santana's Taquiza and David Bracha's beloved Brickell seafood spot the River Seafood & Oyster Bar will join the likes of Stanzione 87, Bianco Gelato, Myumi, a Threefold Café project, and Cake Thai in the food hall inside the Citadel, a 60,000-square-foot food hall, market, and workspace set to open this winter.
"Construction is on track," says Nick Hamann, principal of UrbanAtlanticGroup. The food vendors' "buildout... will happen at the end of the summer and go through the winter."
When Taquiza opened in late 2014, it ushered in a new era of casual Mexican dining — its blue corn tortillas made in-house using landrace corn were part of this. Meanwhile, the expansion of the River seems to give Miamians some certainty that Bracha's cooking will remain available. The existence of the current River Seafood & Oyster Bar has seemed tenuous since 2012, when a Colombian developer purchased the Brickell corner where it sits for $12.5 million. This deal led to the eventual demolition of Tobacco Road, which currently has an iteration on the Norwegian Escape.
Initially, the River was supposed to vacate in 2015 and move to the ground floor of a rising rental building on the Miami River. But when that plan fell through, Bracha secured a longer lease. Let's hope the place will find a new permanent home before falling victim to the leviathan that is Miami real estate.
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Meanwhile, developers continue announcing new food-hall concepts in Miami, blurring the line between a mall food court and the hipster-friendly concept that has taken hold across the nation. Terranova in March announced the Lincoln Eatery in Miami Beach. A Time Out Market is planned for around the corner. CentralFare in the BrightLine's Miami Central Station will house a hall including a casual concept from the Voltaggio brothers. Brickell City Centre is still awaiting its Italian food hall, to be operated by the folks at Casa Tua. Aventura Mall has announced a three-story hall that will include CVI.CHE 105, Serafina, Pubbelly Sushi, Harry’s Pizzeria, and Blue Bottle Coffee.