A few months since celebrating Ariete's third anniversary, chef and owner Michael Beltran
"This all came out of left field," he says. "When I was approached about doing something here, I couldn't turn it down."
Chug's, which will take over the recently shuttered Bookstore and the Kitchen space on Main Highway, will open on a temporary, yearlong basis. If the concept is successful, Beltran hopes to extend his stay.
"I've always loved the location and I've eaten at the Bookstore all the time," he says. "I was very sad when they announced their closing, so being able to do something here is special. The concept of
Chug's, which is widely known as Beltran's nickname, will serve all-day breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. Morning highlights include Abuela’s Breakfast, a plate of white rice, fried eggs, black beans, and
The lunch and dinner menu will feature a lineup of Cuban
"I've always loved breakfast," Beltran says. "My fiancée and I always ask ourselves where we can eat a good breakfast. Honestly, I could eat it three times a day. I'll also have an opportunity to combine my Cuban heritage and culture with the things I've learned over the years, especially Southern breakfast food."
The restaurant will also serve as the home of Pastelito Papi, Ariete chef Giovanni Fesser’s wildly popular
"Gio is one of my best friends," Beltran says. "As we discussed the future of Pastelito Papi, we wanted to find a way to give it its own platform. It's an opportunity to see how people enjoy them on an everyday basis."
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In addition to Chug's, Beltran is gearing up to open Leña, a wood-grilled concept, inside Time Out Market Miami sometime in the spring.
"There was no Cuban food in Coconut Grove before Ariete," Beltran says. "We're building off of that with