A bit of Mediterranean food, design, and culture is coming to South Beach with the opening of 9beach Fusion Kitchen & Lounge Bar.
The restaurant and lounge, set to open in June 2015 at 1628 Collins Ave., is the first U.S. location of 9beach. Currently, there are seven locations throughout Israel. In addition, the 9beach Group, which owns and operates 9beach, also Gilgamesh Restaurant Bar & Lounge in London.
9beach Group founder Itay Sacish, who opened the first location in Tel Aviv in 2001, says bringing his 9beach to Miami was the next logical step "After our successes in Europe, we wanted to bring our popular beach concept to the States. We are avid surfers who love the beach, so naturally, our first U.S. location would be in Miami.
"The warm weather, clear blue waters, and international mix of people make it the ideal spot for our down-to-earth entertainment concept. It will be the first of its kind here." The massive South Beach location seats 250 people in its 3,300 square foot restaurant with an additional 5,000 square feet of outdoor patio space, directly on one of Collins Ave.'s busiest stretches.
The restaurant's decor looks like a cross between an ancient temple and the Hard Rock Cafe. We walked in while 9beach was under construction, but already, large golden idols and angels graced the walls. Sacish pointed some out lovingly, sating that each wooden figure is hand carved in India. The detailed decor extends to the furnishings and light fixtures, where giant chandeliers serve as focal points. Sharing wall space are rock lyrics and guitars. A custom lighting system will turn the bar different colors.
9beach kitchen will be helmed by chef Tal Aboav, who worked at the original Tel Avivi location. Although the menu is not yet available, the chef will offer classic Mediterranean dishes with European and American influences. Dishes include a salmon tartare, 9beach skirt steak; and baked whole branzino.
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Specialty cocktails include a raspberry ginger collins, mango whiskey sour, and cocoa nib old fashioned. A selection of martinis includes a dill cucumber and lavender blueberry.
9beach will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night.