We recently passed by Miami Shores' Village Cafe, which seems as if it had been open for an eternity. It was closed. Peeking in to see what was going on behind the blacked out windows we found chairs on top of tables and a ghost-like restaurant space. Then we noticed the signs "Pizza Fiore Coming Soon!" That clears things up.
He launched the idea of his first pizzeria in 1996 with his wife saying, "You're crazy."
"Then, I opened one," owner Arcoub Abderrahin told us. There was the place on Washington Avenue in South Beach -- he sold it, then opened another in Midtown, and sold that one too. Now he's working to open a Miami Shores location, which he plans to keep for himself.
"I plan to open by next week," Abderrahin excitedly said. "I had to update the kitchen, put new stuff in, fix some mistakes... nothing worked in the kitchen, not even the refrigerator or the pizza oven."
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A public record search or two later, and we found out that the owners of Village Cafe had been struggling from a few run-ins with inspections of food sanitation and hygiene back in 2009 and 2010. Some of the reoccurring issues on the findings report listed: lack of use of gloves and utensils for non ready-to-eat foods, potentially hazardous temperatures for food storage, encrusted material on can opener, food stored on floor, potentially hazardous food thawed in an improper ... anyway, the list went on. It finally closed in December 2011.
The 60-plus seats of the former Village Cafe space will give way to Pizza Fiore's family-oriented menu: pizzas, pastas, subs, lunch dailies, wings, etc. Abderrahin told us that he wanted the convenience of his restaurant for the area, because he lives there.
The pizzeria will be quite similar to its North Beach sister location, but lower prices can be expected at Miami Shores because the rent is lower. Hours will stay the same, too: 10 a.m. to 11:30 or midnight. They'll also carry on the same delivery services as well.