, the sultry South Beach steakhouse that was set to reopen at 1 Hotel & Homes, has run into a major setback.
The restaurant, which was supposed to open in December, according to parent company the ONE Group Hospitality, Inc., sustained water damage after a hotel subcontractor broke a sprinkler head above the restaurant.
According to the ONE Group's CEO, Jonathan Segal, the restaurant was "at the final stage of putting cosmetic touches on the space" when the incident occurred on December 10, telling Short Order, "we were ready to go. We had a few small things to do. This was an unfortunate accident."
The ONE Group issued an update on the restaurant, stating, "the hotel subcontractor was working on an unrelated project above the restaurant and "mistakenly broke a sprinkler head resulting in a high-pressure flow of water that caused extensive damage and flooding within the venue."
The ONE Group's CEO gave details of the incident. "A sprinkler pipe had been cut. When that happens, the water keeps running and running until they can find the shut off valve. The amount of water was extensive because it was on the floor directly above the restaurant's."
As a result, the restaurant's opening has been delayed until some time during the first quarter 2015. The restaurant's big New Year's eve grand opening celebration has been cancelled.
Employees of the steakhouse, which had already been hired and trained, will remain on the payroll during the delay, according to Segal.
Segal noted that his company's focus was on hidden structural damage, as opposed to more noticeable cosmetic repairs. "My biggest concern is not the tables and chairs. The bigger problem isn't as visible.
"You never really know immediately the extent of water damage. Wood swells and shrinks. What we do know is that dry wall has to be replaced and we are still going through the damage."
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Although the full cost of damages is still being calculated, repairs are already underway and the restaurant fully expects to open in the first quarter of 2015. Segal says his company is working with 1 Hotel & Homes to accelerate the process, but he doesn't want to rush the repairs, preferring to make sure everything is done correctly the first time around. "If it takes me a week or two weeks longer to go through the process, I will. It's better to get everything right today."
Even with the setback, Segal is confident the wait will be worth it. "We were two inches from the finish line when this happened. Miami is a really important market for us, if not our most important. This is where the world comes."