In an off-market deal too savory to pass up, the top executive for Shorty’s BBQ sold the local chain’s Doral property for $6.1 million.
Doral Restaurant Investments LLC, managed by Jair Luis Gomes Fontes of Miami-based Belisana Investments, bought the 1.1-acre site at 2255 Northwest 87th Avenue, according to records.
The seller is an entity managed by Mark Vasturo, CEO of Kendall-based Shorty’s BBQ. The buyer took out a $4.1 million loan with Vasturo’s entity, Shorty’s IV.
Vasturo told The Real Deal that Shorty’s BBQ didn’t plan on selling its Doral property until he was contacted by a representative for the buyer. In 2001, Shorty’s IV bought the 1.1-acre property for $1.1 million and completed the 7,511 square-foot restaurant a year later, records show.
“We got a random call from an interested party who knew this investor was looking for [a restaurant property],” Vasturo said. “They had come close to buying another nearby parcel. We told them it was not really for sale, but you’re welcome to make an offer.”
The offer for the real estate was “too good to refuse,” Vasturo added.
For now, Shorty’s BBQ will continue operating at the Doral site, but the new owner has plans to put a different restaurant in the space, Vasturo said. “It’s fluid,” he said. “We could stay another two, three months or a longer term deal. We will stay open as long as it makes sense.”
Vasturo said Shorty’s BBQ may also look at leasing another space in Doral, and that all employees at the sold location have been offered jobs at three other Shorty’s BBQ restaurants. The company owns the real estate of its Davie location at 5989 South University Drive. Shorty’s II, also managed by Vasturo, paid $440,000 in 1987 for the property.
The barbecue chain leases its other two locations in West Miami and Kendall, where the original restaurant has operated for 70 years. The Shorty’s BBQ at 9200 South Dixie Highway opened in 1951 as a log cabin style restaurant, according to the company’s website. Nineteen years later, the building burned down and founder E.L. “Shorty” Allen rebuilt an almost exact replica in its place.
Recently, several high-profile South Florida restaurant properties have sold. Two companies with ties to Little Havana developer Bill Fuller acquired a stake in the historic Polynesian-themed Mai Kai restaurant in Oakland Park. The new partnership paid $7.5 million for the real estate at 3599 North Federal Highway.
And Speed Plaza, a Florida company led by Carlos Tovar and Luis Meir, paid $5.9 million for the two commercial condos at Brickell House in Miami. The ground-floor spaces at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive are currently leased to Peruvian restaurant Osaka.