Apeiro Kitchen & Bar, a Mediterranean restaurant under construction in Midtown Miami, is in the midst of hiring at least 120 staffers, amid plans to open near Oct. 15, The Real Deal has learned.
The 6,129-square-foot restaurant with a 3,500-square-foot outdoor space, is the latest endeavor of owners Burt Rapoport, Executive Chef David Blonsky and a third, “silent” partner. Located at 3252 Northeast First Street, it will be the partners’ second Apeiro, following the opening early this year of Apeiro Kitchen & Bar in Delray Beach.
“We came up with the concept that we opened the first Apeiro in Delray, and we felt that Miami is really where we would like to be,” Rapoport, who has co-owned restaurants like Prezzo and Max’s South Beach since the 1980s, told TRD this spring. “It’s just so exciting, so vibrant. I started my restaurant career in Miami, and to be able to get back to Miami is very attractive.”
Midtown Miami was the top choice, he said. “To us, it’s just an amazing location, so convenient to get to and from so many areas, and there are already restaurants in the area that are established and doing well,” said Rapoport, president of Rapoport Restaurant Group. “And what is happening with the growth in that area is mind boggling.”
Construction on the Midtown space began in late March and should be completed by mid-September, Blonsky told TRD. After that, all the equipment will be installed, and the staff will be trained, in anticipation of a mid-October opening.
“Then we’re going full-throttle,” he said. The first week, the restaurant will serve only dinner, then add lunch the following week and brunch on weekends.
Apeiro will have 150 seats outdoors, 170 seats indoors, and a 30-seat indoor/outdoor bar. The restaurant’s Mediterranean cuisine will be influenced by Spain, Southern Italy, Greece, Turkey and Morocco, said Blonsky, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who worked with Barton G. and and then moved back to his hometown of Chicago as corporate chef for the company that launched Siena Tavern.
In Midtown, Blonsky and General Manager Zachary Forman began interviewing for dozens of jobs on Monday, “from dishwashers to managers and everything in between,” Blonsky said.
Once it opens, the restaurant will join others nearby in Midtown, including three Graspa Group brands, Salumeria 104, Spris and Midtown Oyster Bar.
“We really try to go out of our way to find people who have interesting concepts,” said Deborah Samuel, director of operations for Midtown Equities, which is leasing Apeiro its space. “We’re trying to create a neighborhood with a unique identity that is pedestrian friendly.”