Philadelphia-based chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson is opening a sushi restaurant in one of Miami's most sought-after locations.
Schulson, who owns a portfolio of restaurants under his company, Schulson Collective
, will bring an outpost of Double Knot, a sushi restaurant and izakaya in Philadelphia, to the former Wynwood Kitchen & Bar space on NW Second Avenue sometime in early 2023.
South Florida residents might remember Schulson from Monkitail, a Japanese izakaya and sushi restaurant he operated at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood. Though the restaurant closed amid the pandemic, Schulson tells New Times
Double Knot will offer a similar feel.
He says he hopes to introduce the restaurant to Miami and then take it to more cities. "It's such a huge success that we want to open Double Knot in Miami as the first of multiple locations," Schulson says, adding that debuting in South Florida was a no-brainer. "It's always a place that I love going to."
Finding the right location was another matter, however.
"I always say it's easy for us in Philadelphia since it's just us and a few other restaurant people there, so when a space that hits the market we're aware of it. That's the problem of expanding into another city — you're not the first or second or even third call," he notes.
But in Miami, Schulson has an ace in the hole.
"When I started on my own about 12 years ago, I opened an izakaya called Sam Pan
in Philadelphia with Goldman Properties," he recounts. "We were fortunate that another space opened up at a Goldman property and we took it. We then opened Double Knot in Philadelphia there, then more. Between Tony Goldman, himself, and daughter Jessica Goldman Srebnick, and the entire team, we built a friendship. We talk all the time. I wanted to expand to Wynwood and they said they had the perfect spot. It was a home run for us. We couldn't be happier."
Schulson says Wynwood is one of the few areas in Miami that meets all of his criteria for a successful location. "I kinda have a belief that there are different demographics when it comes to dining. You have locals, tourists, people from local businesses, and conventions. If you can attract three or four, that's the business model."
He thinks Double Knot, which Philadelphia magazine recently named "Best New Restaurant,"
will be a good fit for Wynwood. The restaurant specializes in sushi, sashimi, and robata items, plus a chef's tasting menu of ten selections and mochi for dessert for $65.
Miami rents and costs will likely make it impossible to bring Philadelphia prices to Wynwood, but, says Schulson, "We're going to try to keep it as close to a perceived value as we can. I want people to be happy. Nobody wants to be taken advantage of."
Double Knot. 2550 NW Second Ave., Miami; doubleknotphilly.com. Opening early 2023.