Michael Schwartz and Daughter to Open Ella Pop-Up in Design District

Michael Schwartz's Genuine Hospitality Group has announced the opening of Ella, a casual Design District pop-up café.

The intimate restaurant, named for Schwartz's daughter Ella, will open April 1 at the Design District's Palm Court, located at 140 NE 39th St. It will remain open through spring and summer. This isn't the first time Schwartz has taken a personal turn with the name of one of his restaurants. Harry's Pizzeria -- with a location in the Design District and another set to open in Coconut Grove -- is named for the chef's son.

See also: Michael Schwartz Opening Harry's Pizzeria in Coconut Grove

Ella Schwartz, who recently turned 18, is collaborating with her father on the project. The second-generation restaurateur in the making will have her hand in everything from the creative and design aspects to the operations of the café.

Michael Schwartz tells New Times that each of his children has her or his own unique talents, with some more interested in the restaurant industry than others. "All my kids are creative in their own way. They've grown up in the business, so I'd say there is definitely a curiosity. Lulu is studying visual art at New World, and she's done our Lua Rossa wine label. Harry is more focused on his drum set right now. Ella has been working with us in the corporate office as an intern, so she's seen more of the business side -- and my business side. It's been fun. I'm still Dad."

The Ella pop-up will serve breakfast, lunch, and early dinner, with a daily chalkboard menu, counter service for ten, and outdoor seating for 40. Schwartz says Ella sprung from a need in the neighborhood for a place to energize at the beginning of the day or take a break after work. "What's a neighborhood without a great café? It'll be a place people working in the area can pop into for coffee and breakfast or wind down with a glass of rosé after a long day. Shoppers get hungry too!"

Ella will offer takeaway service for busy Miamians, but Schwartz says this is not a grab-and-go concept. "The food is simple -- everything can be easily carried out, but if you want to sit and have a light meal, Palm Court definitely provides the right setting."

The menu won't be set until later this month, but the chef/restaurateur says if you caught his pop-up during Miami Art Week, you'll have an idea of what to expect. "We're taking a page from our café at Design Miami. We know what works, and we didn't want the menu to be too big. So it's pretty focused and well rounded. There will be a couple of breakfast items, and pastries on the counter. There are things you'd want to eat in the afternoon too -- sandwiches and a daily soup special, charcuterie and cheese... We'll be open until 7 p.m. most days, so there will be beer and wine."

The indoor space will be decorated with art from developer Craig Robins' personal collection, while the outdoor space will contain various herb planters and greenery to add color and fragrance.

The fast-casual restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., and reduced valet parking will be available.

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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