Zuma execs buy Wynwood lease, plan new Asian restaurant


The former executive chef and general manager of Zuma in Miami have purchased the leasehold interest in a Wynwood restaurant with plans to launch a new Asian-inspired dining spot.

The new restaurant, KYU, will open on Feb. 16 at 251 Northwest 25th Street in a vacant space that formerly housed Shikany. 

An entity linked to Zuma’s former general manager, Steven Haigh, and former executive chef, Michael Lewis, purchased the leasehold on Dec. 31, Westside Estate Agency’s Cyril Bijaoui told The Real Deal.

Bijaoui, who heads the Miami office of the Los Angeles-based firm, represented the buyer. Sharon Silver of Wenzel Investment Group represented the seller. 

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Bijaoui called the site a “perfect hybrid of location, turnkey ability and rent.” He declined to disclose the sales price, but said the lease came with options that include a liquor license, liquor left in the space and furniture.

“To find a second generation restaurant in the condition it was in was quite unique,” he said.

The new restaurant will feature Asian cuisine, inspired by Japanese and Korean yakiniku (literally translated to grilled meat in Japanese), according to a release. The menu will include a variety of wood-fired grilled specialties, as well as sashimi, the restaurant said. Dishes will include duck breast “burnt ends” with yuzu pickles; Wagyu beef brisket with black shichimi pepper; and Thai fried rice stone pot.

With an open kitchen, the space is designed to bring elements of the neighborhood in with raw concrete, local art, and wood and metal accents.

KYU’s chef Lewis was recently named executive chef at the upcoming River Yacht Club in Miami and left in December. He was the executive chef at Zuma for seven years and was previously chef de cuisine at Jean Georges restaurants in Miami, New York and Dubai.

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