UPDATED, Aug. 10, 4 p.m.: Good luck getting a table. Rao’s, a classic New York City restaurant known as much for its exclusivity as its red-sauce fare, is planting a flag in Miami Beach.
The Italian eatery is expected to open at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel early next year, sources confirmed to The Real Deal.
It will take the ground-floor space occupied by Lure Fishbar at the oceanfront resort at 1601 Collins Avenue.
The Miami New Times first reported the news, following an Instagram post from the account World Red Eye.
It’s notoriously difficult to get a reservation at Rao’s original location in Harlem,
where it’s operated since the late 19th century and has been known to turn away even celebrities.
The restaurant operated a pop-up at David Edelstein’s W South Beach hotel and was looking for a permanent location, sources said.
The restaurant group and gourmet Italian food company, led by Frank Pellegrino Jr. and Ron Straci, also has a location in Los Angeles.
Its Las Vegas restaurant closed last year.
The Tisch family, led by Loews chairman Jonathan Tisch, owns the 790-key hotel,
where celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse operated a restaurant more than a decade ago.
Rao’s is the latest New York restaurant operator to expand to Miami.
Major Food Group expanded to South Florida when it opened Carbone in South Beach, and has grown rapidly throughout Miami and in Boca Raton.
Pastis is also expected to open in Wynwood, at an Edelstein property.
Other restaurant and hospitality groups are also expanding locally, including Casa Tua and Cipriani.
Casa Tua is opening at Edelstein, Related Group and Alex Karakhanian’s NoMad Residences in Wynwood.
The Cipriani family, which has a flagship restaurant in Brickell and co-developed the Mr. C Hotel in Coconut Grove, is branding Mast Capital’s Cipriani Residences in Brickell, as well as the Mr. C Residences in Coconut Grove.