Amelia’s 1931 — Finka Table & Tap’s sister restaurant on the corner of Coral Way and 137th Avenue in Tamiami — is growing.
Chef/owner Eileen Andrade tells New Times her team is working on the construction and buildout. She anticipates its completion in December or early 2020.
Andrade recently acquired the dry cleaner's space next door to Amelia’s in what felt like a moment of pure destiny. “I was walking out of work on my 30th birthday,” she says, “and the owner of the dry cleaner asked me if I had ever thought of expanding. My eyes lit up!” Prior to that conversation, Andrade hadn’t thought to pose the question to the dry cleaner’s owners.
“I thought they would never even consider it since they’ve been there like 20 or 30 years,” she says, “so I had never even asked because I assumed it wasn’t a possibility.”
The expansion will add 100 new seats to Amelia's — a retro diner serving Cuban food with Peruvian and Korean influences — bringing the overall seating to a comfortable 150.
“The entrance is going to change up a little bit,” Andrade explains. The idea is to keep the integrity of the existing space and create a pseudo dry cleaner. “Once you walk into the restaurant, it won’t look like a restaurant. It’ll have the same setup as a traditional, old-school dry cleaner with a sign saying, ‘Ropa Vieja,’ and vintage, antique clothes hanging on the sides.”
Guests will part these hanging garments to expose the new restaurant space, which will offer a full bar.
“The only complaint I’ve ever really heard from guests at Amelia’s is that we don’t have a full bar,” says Andrade, who's excited to finally offer it.
“We’re going to focus more on traditional cocktails, so we’ll be doing things like a daiquiri, a bee's knees, aviation, mojito — things like that.”
The 31-year-old says she expects the expansion to draw a younger crowd, a new happy-hour crowd, and a brunch crowd.
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“We don’t really have a cool, fun brunch in Kendall,” she says. The working title of the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu is "The Bee’s Knees Brunch." “We want to create a fun atmosphere like we have at Finka, but now with the option of a brunch menu and a brunch crowd.”
The upgraded space also allows Andrade and her team to offer private events at Amelia’s, which is already an option at Finka.
The expansion comes just two years after Andrade debuted Amelia’s in the fall of 2017.
Amelia’s 1931. 13601 SW 26th St., Miami; 305-554-4949; amelias1931.com.