The iconic location, a longtime gathering spot for the neighborhood surrounding the intersection of Red Road and San Ignacio Avenue, will now be home to Grove Bay Hospitality Group's newest restaurant, Public Square.
The contemporary American grill will open on Friday, October 23. In the same neighborhood as the group's nearby South Miami restaurants, Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar and Root & Bone, Public Square will focus on American fare served alongside a West Coast-heavy wine list — another step toward the group’s goal to develop more chef-driven establishments.
For Grove Bay CEO and cofounder Francesco Balli, the new restaurant represents an exciting return to the company's roots.
"This space was actually our first restaurant space over a decade ago, and where the idea for Grove Bay Hospitality Group began," Balli tells New Times. "At the time, we had no idea what Grove Bay would become."
Grove Bay began operating Shula's 347 Grill in 2010. The franchise agreement with Shula's expired in June 2020, at which time Balli and his partners opted to take over under their own brand.
"The renovations on the space took us about three months, and now — watching this space turn into Public Square — gives me that same proud-parent feeling as when you watch your kid growing up," Balli says.
Public Square's expansive layout will accommodate 170, including 30 seats at the bar and a private dining room. The kitchen will build off familiar dishes and grilled entrées, all with a focus on sustainable fare.
Grove Bay cofounder Ignacio Garcia-Menocal says grilled-to-order steaks will feature prominently, in cuts ranging from filet mignon and rib eye to a 36-ounce tomahawk and a 16-ounce Chateaubriand. A raw bar will offer an array of seafood and hand-rolled sushi.
The wine program emphasizes California, Oregon, and Washington vintages, with eight bottles available by the glass. (Wine geeks can pony up for a program that features a personalized vault in the cellar to store favorite bottles to be made available on demand.)
"We hope to continue this tradition where the community is central to a memorable dining experience," Balli says. "At Public Square, our mission is to inspire neighborhood connection over a great meal."
Public Square. 6915 Red Rd., Coral Gables; 305-665-9661; publicsquarerestaurant.com. Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.