New York restaurateurs decamp to South Florida

Restaurants allowed to operate at 100% capacity

Marcus Samuelsson and his Red Rooster restaurant in Miami’s Overtown (Getty, Google Maps)
Marcus Samuelsson and his Red Rooster restaurant in Miami’s Overtown (Getty, Google Maps)

It’s not just New York City residents who have migrated to South Florida in the past year. Business owners, including restaurateurs, are following suit.

Part of the reason? South Florida’s relatively relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, the New York Post reported.

New York’s dining restrictions have changed frequently and sometimes abruptly. Indoor dining was forbidden in December as confirmed coronavirus cases rose, and then allowed again — at 25 percent capacity — just last week. In contrast, restaurants in Miami have had the green light to operate at 100 percent indoor capacity, as long as things stay socially distant.

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“I’ve had clients who have abandoned projects in Brooklyn and Manhattan because it makes more sense for them to come here and open right away, while in New York they don’t know if they will be open from one day to the next,” Felix Bendersky of F+B Hospitality Leasing told the publication.

Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson opened an outpost of his popular Red Rooster restaurant in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood in December. The hotspot Carbone, operated by Major Food Group, opened in Miami Beach earlier this month, and the hospitality group plans to open three other restaurants in the future. Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote also made the move to Miami.

Garry Kanfer of Kissaki called the city his “second home,” but said the pandemic sped up his plans to open two new locations there.

“People want to go to Miami because if something happens in the future, there is always good weather and you can always sit outside,” he told the Post. [NYP] — Sasha Jones