Michael Schwartz
Michael Schwartz
Courtesy of the Genuine Hospitality Group

Michael Schwartz Planning Two Harry's Pizzerias, More in 2016

For Michael Schwartz, 2016 is shaping up to be an important year. His Genuine Hospitality Group is planning a fleet of restaurants alongside two previously unannounced Harry’s Pizzerias somewhere in South Florida.

“Going out for pizza is not something people do as much anymore, but Harry's seems to be a place that can get pizza out of the box and back on to the center of the table,” Schwartz said.

The company will also finish planning or open restaurants inside rising condo buildings in Brickell, Edgewater, and Coconut Grove. A Michael’s Genuine Pub and another farm-to-ship concept will open on two forthcoming Royal Caribbean cruise ships.

Beyond all that this year is shaping up to be the one in which one of Miami’s most celebrated, contemporary chefs could reinsert himself in his kitchens in a major way.

Schwartz was thrust into fame and the spotlight after winning the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef South award in 2010. More importantly, however, is in the years before and after he set a new benchmark in Miami for sourcing. While ranks of his predecessors surely tapped local suppliers, it was Schwartz who helped make it a top of mind issue for South Florida diners.

In recent years, Schwartz has grown from the chef-owner of one restaurant into a businessman with a knife in one hand and a deal-settling shake in the other. Some of his ventures haven’t worked out. Earlier this week Schwartz and the Raleigh announced they would part ways after four of years of running the Miami Beach hotel’s patio restaurant. “Chef Schwartz and The Genuine Hospitality Group are turning their attention to developing future projects alongside sbe Hotel Group,” the two said in a statement.

His longstanding restaurant in Grand Cayman shuttered, and his fine dining establishment the Cypress Room recently rolled over staff and relaunched as the Cypress Tavern with a more budget friendly menu with wider appeal.

Such is to be expected, and celebrated chefs branching out from their spiritual homes with mottled success is as common as roasted beet and goat cheese salad.

What’s exciting about the three upcoming projects is they could provide a glimpse into Schwartz’s latest musings. Of course, don’t expect ingredients like xanthan gum or heavy alternation of pristine ingredients. The concept has still yet to be decided at the SLS Brickell, but the Edgewater operation will focus on wood fire dining while Coconut Grove is being billed as the “ultimate neighborhood restaurant.”

His return to kitchens of his own restaurants is long overdue and all of Miami is eager to see Schwartz do what he does best.

For more follow Zach on Twitter or Instagram.

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