Coya Is Set For a Late February Opening in Brickell

Later this month, Brickell will get another taste of Peruvian-inspired dining, complete with a pisco library and member's club.

Coya is the South American concept from London-based restaurateur Arjun Waney, also responsible for concepts like Zuma, Roka, and La Petite Maison. Having recently expanded the concept into Latin-hungry Dubai, he and his partners are now setting their sites on the United States. Miami will be the first U.S. location for Coya.

"In the high-end industry, 95 percent of the market is taken by French, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian, worldwide. There is not really a South American restaurant worldwide that stands out. So the idea was to enter a new market and to show what South America has to bring to this market," says Adam Belhadj, right-hand man to Waney and project lead for the Miami opening. The menu and decor will lean heavily on Peru, while influences from throughout Latin America will appear in the cocktails, wine list, and rotating art installations.

The Miami location of Coya, which will be located at 999 Brickell, will take cues from the London flagship, while incorporating elements designed specifically for the new market. "We're not just duplicating London. We want Miami to be even better," Belhadj told us. Inside, top-end finishes will give Coya its signature look and feel. For each of the openings, Belhadj and his team have traveled to Peru to look for doors, tables, and other furnishings to complement the hand-cut wood floors and custom furniture.

Just like London and Dubai, Coya Miami will feature a member's lounge, complete with its own patio, bar, and secret entrance. Though we're told that membership isn't cheap, members will have access to weekly live music performances, cooking classes, and even their own lockers for spirits, wine, and other belongings. The rest of the nearly 8,000-square-foot space will feature a bar and pisco library, an extensive wine cellar, and a dining room featuring two open kitchens.

As for the food, Sanjay Dwivedi, the group's corporate chef, will draw on his time spent training with Peruvian celebrity chef Gastón Acurio's team to deliver high-end versions of classic South American dishes. Coya will feature an open ceviche bar, which will serve tiraditos, ceviches, and other cold dishes featuring locallly-sourced seafood. There will also be a visible brasas station, serving grilled anticuchos, rotisserie chicken, and more.

No official opening date has been set for Coya as it remains under construction, though we're told soft opening should happen by the end of February. For now, they continue to post hiring events on Craigslist, for anyone looking to get a hands-on preview of the restaurant.

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