Miami’s new restaurant scene has been defined by generously sized, multi-concept venues run by well-known chefs, like Julia & Henry’s, a 26-concept food hall in downtown Miami. Now, just opened on the heels of the Julia & Henry’s, is Regatta Grove, a waterfront venue boasting five culinary concepts attached to chefs with Michelin and James Beard pedigrees.
Regatta Grove opened June 22 in the Coconut Grove neighborhood overlooking Biscayne Bay. The entertainment venue is run by Breakwater Hospitality Group, known for other South Florida concepts like the Wharf in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Rivertail, The Piefather, Carousel Club, and JohnMartin’s.
Breakwater’s new project is ambitious and covers about one acre of waterfront real estate. The venue’s design leans into its nautical locale and resembles the bow of a boat, with multiple decks and direct access from the marina so guests can arrive by land or by water. Five restaurant concepts and three outdoor bars provide total capacity for 1000 people.
Breakwater Hospitality developed the overall concept, design and bar programming for Regatta Grove and handles the day-to-day operations for the venue. For the culinary side, they partnered with Grove Bay Hospitality, which counts Stubborn Seed, Root & Bone and Red Rooster Overtown under its umbrella, to curate and operate the five restaurants.
“As a casual location on the water, we aimed to create an approachable array of concepts which are true reflections of the chefs behind them,” said Emi Guerra, co-founder of Breakwater Hospitality Group. “This is why you’ll find a variety of cuisines and options from lighter bites to comfort food and everything in between.”
JJ’s (Guilty Pleasures) comes from “Top Chef” winner Jeremy Ford, who’s also the chef behind Michelin-starred Stubborn Seed. It’s a tribute to the guilty pleasure foods that Ford ate growing up. There are burgers — including a fried soft-shell crab burger — birria tacos, fries, onion rings and other comfort food favorites.
José Mendín, who opened two concepts recently at Julia & Henry’s, brought an outpost of his Fort-Lauderdale-located Piefather to Regatta Grove. The tightly focused menu features pizzas made with fresh dough, house-made sauces and imported Italian toppings, plus a kale Caesar salad and Nutella pie.
Sunny Side Up Aussie Bites is run by chef Janine Booth, who’s also behind the Grove Bay restaurant Root & Bone. The native Australian is making Aussie pies, sausage rolls and empanadas, plus salads, avocado toast, sorbets and ice creams.
Chef Kenny Gilbert, who is the vice president of culinary operations for Grove Bay Hospitality, is behind House of Birds & Biscuits. The restaurant serves fried chicken and drop biscuit sandwiches, along with salads and sides
The fifth concept at Regatta Grove is Tackle Box by chef Jeff McInnis. The waterfront fish shack serves lobster rolls, a crab cake sandwich, shrimp cocktail and chilled stone crab. Between the five restaurants, there’s something for everyone who visits.
Guerra and his Breakwater business partner Alex Mantecon have been working on Regatta Grove for a long time. For years their goal was to create a space for locals to have the quintessential Coconut Grove experience in a unique, open-air venue. And now they have.
Breakwater Hospitality has plenty going on with Regatta Grove and its other concepts, but Guerra said the company is constantly evolving and growing its presence. And its footprint in Miami will soon expand.
“We’re really excited about a new open-air concept opening this fall called Pier 5, which will be located in Downtown Miami’s iconic Bayside Marketplace,” said Guerra. He’s not sharing too many details just yet, but he explained that the venue pays homage to South Florida’s most famous fishing pier, which stood at the same location 50 years ago. “It will be an incredible destination for locals and tourists alike.”