Hospitality Veterans Opening Joia Beach on Watson Island

Joia Beach promises spectacular views and a full-service restaurant.
Joia Beach promises spectacular views and a full-service restaurant. Photo courtesy of Joia Beach
Beach days in the Magic City are about to get even more entertaining. Chris Paciello and Mio Danilovic of Liquid Hospitality have announced a new venture, Joia Beach, located on Watson Island, adjacent to Jungle Island.

"We have been working on this partnership with Jungle Island for close to three years," says Danilovic, a former vice president for nightlife operations at the SBE Entertainment Group. "People who don't live here would expect more places like this, but there aren't any. We're lucky to have gotten this untapped space to create something new to the area."

Conceptualized by interior designer François Frossard, the 45,000-square-foot day club, nestled between the MacArthur and Venetian Causeways, will be accessible by car and boat and open its doors daily at 11 a.m. Guests will enter a winding pathway opening to a beachfront area, outfitted in a chic rustic decor of neutral colors, wood, bamboo, natural fabrics, and furniture from Mykonos and Indonesia.

Open-air party venues such as South of Fifth's Nikki Beach come to mind, but Danilovic says Joia Beach will be an alternative to the frenetic scene of South Beach.

"There will be live music and DJs, but we're not going after the party atmosphere; this is more family-friendly and private," says Danilovic, who also owns Rockwell with infamous nightclub veteran Paciello. "You have to enter the venue to be part of the beach; you don't jog or ride your bicycle by. This is more of a destination."

Danilovic plans to unwrap the beach club — including a 300-seat full-service restaurant under a big tiki hut on the sand between the dining room and beach area, dotted with daybeds and chairs — in January. A European-inspired menu by Turkish chef Erhan Ozkaya (Mandolin Aegean Bistro) will range in price from $11 to $45 for dishes such as wood-fired grilled octopus, fire-roasted red peppers, Wagyu tartare with black truffle, wood-fired truffle pizza, gambas al ajillo (Spanish garlic shrimp), ceviche, and paellas. On the dessert side are dishes such as baklava and seasonal sorbets. Hand-crafted signature cocktails and other libations will be served at the beach bar.

For active guests, the all-day venue will boast a beach volleyball area, kayaking, and paddleboarding. There's also a sunset deck and lounge area, which will offer beachside board games, full-moon yoga, and fitness classes from Paciello's health club, Anatomy.

"Aside from being health-conscious, because we're right on Biscayne Bay, we're taking an environmentally oriented approach," says Emma Batchelder, marketing manager for Liquid Hospitality. "There will be no bottled water or plastic, and we'll be using as many recycled products as possible."

Joia Beach. 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, Miami; Opening January 2020.
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Juliana Accioly
Contact: Juliana Accioly

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