Restaurant & Hotel Renaissance: Full Speed Ahead
The hottest trend in restaurants and hospitality is creating a sense of place and a unique experience for patrons—and Miami's a perfect backdrop for it. That was a main takeaway from Bisnow's Miami Restaurant, Retail & Hospitality Renaissance event at 1 Hotel South Beach this week.
Snapped: CBRE VP Emran Ally, who moderated, 50 Eggs COO Eddie Acevedo and La Mar by Gaston Acurio executive chef Diego Oka. The market for unique restaurants is growing rapidly in Miami, and expanding beyond traditional markets, into Wynwood, Buena Vista, Little Haiti, Midtown—and even in the suburbs, who now want more than national chain restaurants, our speakers explained. Miami's also seeing influences not just from Latin America (a traditional source of inspiration here) but also from other parts of the US, and businesses related to restaurants, such as beer breweries, specialty tea space and coffee shops.
Panther Coffee owners Joel Pollock and Leticia Ramos Pollock; and ID & Design International president Sherif Ayad. The speakers pointed out that, above all, commercial real estate pros need to understand the needs of their restaurant clients, which aren't quite like any other space users. Space has to be a fit for the concept, and the concept has to work in a particular place in a particular neighborhood. The real estate pros who understand this tend to become long-standing partners with restaurateurs, not just overseers of space transactions. They believe in what the restaurant is doing.
Trust Hospitality CEO Richard Millard and Goldman Properties CEO Jessica Goldman Srebnick. Experience is just as important for hotels as restaurants, the panelists agreed. In Miami, and especially Miami Beach, hotels don't need traditional brands to be successful—though branded properties have their place—because of the strong sense of place and the gusto with which hoteliers here run their businesses. Customers come to appreciate the experience, and feel a connection with a unique property, like they're visiting someone's home.
Robert Finvarb Cos president Robert Finvarb, Menin Hospitality Group principal Keith Menin, and Bilzin Sumberg partner Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, who moderated. Are there too many new hotel rooms now, especially in South Beach? The speakers' consensus was no. The increase in rooms has been good for Miami as a destination, and the rehab of older product was long overdue. The growing stock of rooms is part of Miami's new status as a world-class destination, and as such, the market will be able to absorb the new inventory.
Design is critical to establishing both restaurants and hotels as one-of-a-kind places to be, the speakers said, and the more Miami becomes an international city, the more people will appreciate the design and the art incorporated into restaurants and hotels. Miami's neighborhoods are also important to restaurant and hotel success: Wynwood, for instance, has an artistic backdrop unlike any other place. These days people walk it, take pictures, transmit them around the world—helping create buzz in ways that weren't possible even 10 years ago.