One of the county’s biggest and most ambitious new dining destinations opened in Downtown Miami on June 3. Julia & Henry’s spreads 26 unique culinary concepts across a seven-floor space, with additional real estate dedicated to recording studios, communal workspaces, and other businesses.
Julia & Henry’s is named for the founders of Miami — Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler — and is operated by Miami-based group, King Goose Hospitality. The building opened in 1936 as a Walgreen Drug Store, and over the decades has housed a variety of tenants, including the La Epoca department store, which closed in 2016.
Before development began, the new owners asked neighborhood locals what they wanted the site to become. Neighbors requested more restaurants, bars, entertainment, workspace and art, and that feedback helped drive the vision for Julia & Henry’s. Stambul Development, who was tasked with reimagining the space, worked with the city to preserve historically significant components of the building while outfitting it for its new needs.
Food and beverage vendors were curated by Gluttonomy, a marketing and innovation agency. Their goal was to create a mix of culinary concepts that would represent Downtown Miami’s global community, and they pulled from Latin America and elsewhere to make it happen.
The destination has reportedly convened the nation’s highest concentration of award-winning chefs under one roof, a group that includes James Beard Award winners and others recognized by the World’s 50 Best rankings, like Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy), Tomás Kalika (Mishiguene in Buenos Aires) and Renzo Garibaldi (Osso in Lima, Peru), as well as Miami favorites like Michelle Bernstein and José Mendín.
Julia & Henry’s rooftop is being transformed into a modern Italian restaurant called Torno Subito by Massimo Bottura. It’s an outpost of the original Dubai restaurant, which opened in 2019, and it will be run by Bernardo Paladin, the chef who helmed the kitchen when Torno Subito Dubai earned its Michelin star.
Tomás Kalika is debuting his first U.S. restaurant, Mensch, inside Julia & Henry’s. It’s a casual twist on his higher-end Mishiguene (ranked No. 18 on Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list), and serves a Mediterranean menu with global influence.
Renzo Garibaldi’s Osso is a butcher shop and restaurant serving premium cuts of meat and barbeque, while José Mendín has opened two restaurants: June, which specializes in wagyu burgers, and HitchiHaika, a fast-casual gyoza concept.
Miami chef Michelle Bernstein has opened Michy’s Chicken Shack as well as an all-day lunch spot called Luncheria, the latter she describes as a “love note to Miami and its multi-ethnic Latino culture.”
About the former, Bernstein said, “Our inspirations are far reaching and represent many cultures and techniques because we wanted to reflect our community in our food, and we are driven to create comfort food that is satisfying and affordable.”
Other restaurant concepts span a variety of cuisines, from poke, dim sum and ramen to pizza, tapas and ice cream. It’s a real choose-your-own-adventure opportunity for visitors, where groups with multiple tastes can gather to eat in one space.
Julia & Henry’s also features a few bars, so guests can sip wines, beers, and craft cocktails on each level. One of the bar concepts is Jolene, a “retro sound room” by the creators of Broken Shaker — the award-winning bar with locations in Miami and Chicago — that merges fresh cocktails with hi-fi audio equipment.
“Julia & Henry’s is the perfect way that anyone coming from anywhere can experience what Miami has become: an entertainment and culinary center that represents all the cultures, regions, and talent who come here,” Andrea Petersen, CEO of King Goose Hospitality, said in a statement. The goal was to provide high-quality concepts in an accessible, casual setting that’s aligned with what the Downtown crowd wants and needs.
“It is a place where locals will gather, and a place where tourists will come to feel like locals,” she said.