Nearly two dozen years ago, a burly cook from Philly leased a restaurant space in a questionable part of Fort Lauderdale with the thought of serving old-school Italian dishes.
Now, Steve Martorano is a branded celebrity with two restaurants in Broward County, one in Las Vegas (with a second on the way), and the imminent opening of a location in Atlantic City. At his flagship Cafe Martorano on Oakland Park Boulevard (which underwent a major renovation less than two years ago), celebrities and sports figures savor his meatballs and dance to his music. (Martorano takes over the turntables when the mood strikes.) He's a frequent guest on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show, is a best-selling author, and has his own jewelry line.
The only thing missing? A South Beach location. Martorano and Miami Beach seem like a perfect match. The muscular cook (don't call him a chef) would fit right into the SoBe scene of bright lights and music, and his celebrity clientele wouldn't have to schlep up to Broward for some pasta. Martorano has been tossing the idea around for a while. Last year, he told Short Order: "I've been eyeing this one space. I looked at it three times already. I think that means something."
We always thought, however, that a South Beach Cafe Martorano would be in addition to his Fort Lauderdale spot, but it seems like Martorano is looking for a change. Just today, he asked his Instagram followers their restaurant advice:
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Steve Martorano owner of Cafe Martorano in Fort Lauderdale is thinking of Closing the cafe on Oakland Park Down AND Take His Brand n His CREW to South Beach to Open Cafe Martorano SoBo -----More Growth ---More Money to Make -----and after 24 Years in the Same Location and all the other Projects am doing it's time to STEP UP -----What Do You Think Cuz #regramapp
Each summer, Cafe Martorano closes for the summer while the cook takes a break to work on other projects. This July, he'll open Martorano's Italian-American Kitchen inside Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City. Could the celebrity cook also be making plans to find a space in Miami during his break?