This Miami favorite is opening a restaurant on South Beach. But it is going to look a lot different.
By Carlos Frías
South Beach is getting a new palace — make that a Palacio.
Palacio de los Jugos, a Miami favorite for ready-to-eat hot Latin food and fresh-squeezed juices, is opening its first Miami Beach location
this month, the owner said. This will be the 10th location, with at least two others coming to the mainland by the end of 2018.
But keep your eyes sharp.
This will be the first Palacio without the characteristic red-and-yellow awnings. The restaurant sits in a historic Art Deco district, so the
owners worked with the city to find a color scheme that worked within the code. Pastel pink and yellow stripes reference the restaurant’s
attention-grabbing color scheme.
A new mural of a woman out front, in tropical attire and holding a basket of fruit, will be the South Beach restaurant’s calling card.
“That’s going to be the identity of the place,” said Ashley Woolf, who is developing three new restaurants with her father, founder Reinaldo
Bermudez, including the South Beach spot.
The new South Beach Palacio de los Jugos will have a color scheme to match the historic art deco district.
The building at 555 Jefferson Avenue belongs to Emilio and Gloria Estefan, who have known Reinaldo Bermudez for years. Gloria
Estefan’s late mother was a close friend and neighbor of Bermudez’s mother, who helped start the original location at Flagler Street at
Southwest 57th Avenue.
The Estefans had been holding on to the Jefferson Avenue building for years, awaiting redevelopment, when they decided to offer it to
Bermudez last year.
“We knew it was a good spot for a Palacio, so when he offered it, we said absolutely,” said Ashley Woolf.
Two other Palacio restaurants in the works, however, will follow the traditional color scheme. One is taking over a defunct Burger King on
the corner of Flagler Street and LeJune Road, and another is being built in Kendall, at 7255 SW 107th Ave.
Palacio de los Jugos has become a staple for its prepared hot Latin dishes, such as Cuban vaca frita (fried shredded beef) and crispy
chicharrones, and juices made from exotic fruits, such as guanabana and mamey.
RELATED: Ever heard of níspero or mamey? Meet the weird, exotic fruits of Miami
Still, many locals are discovering Palacio for the first time. Palacio de los Jugos is Miami’s original food hall and ordering can require
some guidance, since the restaurant requires ordering at separate counters.
South Beach has traditionally not been kind to new restaurants, such as House of Mac, the Wynwood food truck that lasted less than a
month as a brick-and-mortar spot.
But Woolf promises the South Beach restaurant won’t be a tourist trap. The location away from touristy Ocean Drive is on the edge of a
working-class neighborhood of older apartments and condos. It’s a block west of busy 5thStreet though it does see the occasional red,
double-decker tour bus.
“It’s about the locals. That’s our bread and butter,” Woolf said. “Our best customers are the regular people from Miami.”
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