Openings

Rao's to Move Into Loews Miami Beach Hotel UPDATED

The original Rao's, in East Harlem
The original Rao's, in East Harlem Photo by Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images
Update August 9 at 2:38 p.m.: The Loews Miami Beach Hotel confirmed via email that Rao's would be opening on its property: “The New York City icon, Rao's, is opening inside the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, in early 2023. Loews Hotels & Co and Rao's will be sharing additional details as they become available.”

Forget trying to secure a hard-to-get reservation at Carbone. A new New York City red-sauce institution is coming to Miami Beach, and it's famous for being impossible to get into.

This morning, World Red Eye cryptically asserted on Instagram that Rao's will open in Miami Beach. The post offered no details, teasing only that the restaurant will be located "at an iconic Miami Beach property."

A commenter was quick to "Hope it's at the Forge," but New Times has learned that the 124-year-old Manhattan restaurant's South Florida outpost will open at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel at 1601 Collins Ave. in South Beach.

New Times has contacted representatives from Loews and Rao's requesting comment, but a person with knowledge of the transaction confirms that the legendary restaurant will indeed be taking up residency inside the oceanfront hotel.

Rao's opened in New York's East Harlem neighborhood in 1896 and has been in the Pellegrino and Rao families ever since. The tiny restaurant seats about 60 and on any given night, it's filled with New York movers and shakers, celebrities, politicians, and a smattering of loyal patrons. Dine there regularly for years and you'll get your picture on the restaurant's wall.

The restaurant is notorious for being impossible to get into. Reservations are booked a year in advance and even A-listers have gotten the proverbial cold shoulder. Madonna herself is said to have been turned away.

Rao's popularity has only increased in recent years, attracting the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Martha Stewart, and Bill Clinton. The restaurant has expanded, with outposts in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. (Rao's also makes a line of sauces and pastas that are available nationwide, including Publix stores in Miami.)

New Times will update this story with any additional information. 
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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