The Real Deal Miami

New York’s Quality Meats opening in South Beach in February

Former Smith & Wollensky owners spending $5M on 1501 Collins Avenue space
By Ina Cordle | January 22, 2015 04:00PM

A rendering of Quality Meats in Miami Beach and the restaurant in New York

New York restaurant Quality Meats is launching its first eatery in Miami Beach in the former Bancroft Hotel, now under renovation.

The restaurant, which will open in late February, will represent the second location for Quality Meats, and the first foray outside of New York City for Fourth Wall Restaurants, its parent company.

Next may come the firm’s other concept, Quality Italian, Michael Stillman, founder and president of Fourth Wall Restaurants told The Real Deal.

Stillman said he is investing $5 million to build out Quality Meats’ two-story space and outside patio at 1501 Collins Avenue. It will have a total of 9,000 square feet indoors and about 3,000 square-feet of wrap-around patio outdoors.

AvroKO, the firm designing the space, is aiming to retain the property’s Art Deco features while giving it the feeling of family-owned butcher shops that are the trademark of the Quality Meats brand.

Launched in partnership with chef/partner Craig Koketsu, the restaurant will occupy about a quarter of the rehabbed building. Development plans are still in the works by other investment groups for the remaining space, which may include a Cabaret-style nightclub and a boutique hotel, Stillman said.

The Galbut family of Crescent Heights owns the historic, former hotel. Miami-Dade property records show they bought the building, built in 1939, for $9 million in August 2013.

While Quality Meats is Fourth Wall Restaurants’ first entry into Miami Beach, Stillman and his father, legendary restauranteur Alan Stillman, have their own history in South Beach. They were the original owners of Smith & Wollensky at South Pointe Park when it opened in 1997. They sold the restaurant to private equity investors in 2007 and retain a licensing agreement for the branded restaurants, Stillman said.

Launching a new restaurant in Miami Beach had been the younger Stillman’s dream for years, he said, as he scoured the city for a location.

“We wanted to find something that had the real estate soul of Miami, and this has the Art Deco features and history to it,” he said. “I love that it is on this corner, where Ocean Drive meets Collins  a significant corner tied to the history of the street.”

Next, he said he hopes to bring his other concept, Quality Italian, to South Florida.

“We love Miami as a market, and it’s a market we think has the potential for more restaurants,” Stillman said. “Quality Meats was a concept we wanted to bring first to Miami. Miami was the first place we brought Smith & Wollensky. We love Miami for the long haul.”