Beer & Wine

Bar Lab and Timon Balloo Are Opening Projects in Downtown Miami UPDATED

Chef Timon Balloo.
Chef Timon Balloo. billwisserphoto.com

Downtown Miami is becoming a mecca for good food and drink.

The fast-developing area will soon boast establishments from some of Miami's favorite culinary and cocktail wizards, according to Miami real estate publication The Real Deal.

Bar Lab's Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi are poised to bring their beverage knowledge to the wine world with a 1,172-square-foot wine and amaro bar. It's on schedule for a late fall 2019 opening.

Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill's Timon Balloo will launch Balloo: Modern Home cooking, an 800-square-foot restaurant, sometime this summer. According to a press release, the restaurant will feature an evolving dinner menu that pays tribute to the chef's Chinese-Indian-Trinidadian heritage and culinary travels.
Both projects will open in the historic Ingraham Building in downtown Miami. Further details are not yet known, but Bar Lab recently posted an Instagram photo showing all the players involved in front of the building with this caption: "HELLO Downtown!! We coming for you! Stay tuned for the details! #barlab3.0 #andanotherone."


Six months ago, New Times food critic Zachary Fagenson said downtown Miami was the new spot for cocktails after establishments such as Mama Tried and Jaguar Sun changed the landscape of what was once a food and drink desert.

The Ingraham Building was the site of the original Phuc Yea pop-up, back in 2011. It's also home to Fratelli Milano, whose entrance is located around the corner from the building's main entryway.

Update: Bar Lab's Gabe Orta said that the Bar Lab project does not have a name yet and that over the summer he and partner, Elad Zvi will travel extensively throughout Europe and Israel for inspiration. Orta did confirm that the bar will focus on wine, beer, and low ABV cocktails. "This is a place where people can hang out, low key," said the bar professional. Orta also said both his and Balloo's establishments will be designed to compliment each other.

In a phone call, chef Balloo said that he's looking forward to bringing a new concept to Downtown Miami and that he's currently working on menu development.

The Ingraham Building. 25 SE Second Ave., Miami.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss