California’s Black Lion Investment Group is making its entrance into South Florida in a big way: the firm just put down $10.2 million for a restaurant space at the Four Ambassadors condominium, and has already signed on a new-to-North-America steakhouse tenant.
The deal covers a 14,000-square-foot space that was formerly occupied by Brickell’s well known Brazilian eatery Porcao, located at 801 Brickell Bay Drive. The economy in the late 2000s shuttered that restaurant, according to published reports. Its successor Brasileiro, another Brazilian steakhouse, followed suit years later.
For Black Lion, the third time’s the charm: alongside its purchase, the investment firm signed a multi-year lease with Rodeo Angus LLC, which is linked to the Gil family of Argentinian cattle barons. Here they plan to open El Churrasco, the family’s first restaurant in the United States.
Black Lion, a commercial investment firm headed by Robert Rivani, bought the space from the International Finance Bank of Miami. The commercial bank picked up these spaces during a 2010 foreclosure proceeding against the previous ownership, according to Miami-Dade County court records.
Both the lease and the purchase were brokered by Robert Zinzell and Matthew Rotolante of Sperry Van Ness.
“New residents are pouring into Brickell, and people need to eat,” Rotolante, SVN South’s managing director, said in a news release. “For years, Brickell was dead at night, because everyone drives home to the suburbs. People are tired of the long commutes and want to live closer to work. And most of the international buyers scooping up the condos live in cities, so they want that lifestyle here.”
The sale also includes an adjacent 2,400-square-foot space that’s currently vacant. It’s zoned for offices, but Black Lion is considering several options — a nightclub, cigar bar or a boating-oriented tenant. — Sean Stewart-Muniz