Real estate across Florida is hotter than ever — and no one knows this better than the sudden rush of new restaurants making their way to the Sunshine State.
Literally. The cold and thankless winters on the east and west coats were made even worse due to the government-enforced restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic. So restauranteurs in New York City and Los Angeles have fled to a place that’s warm, sunny, and letting people live their lives again.
Florida is one of the first and only states to start fully lifting coronavirus restrictions thanks to the work of Governor Ron DeSantis. This has led to a boom in new businesses looking to take advantage of real freedom again. “We couldn’t believe how open it is. You guys are crazy down here,” Karen Rueda told Flamingo. Rueda and her boyfriend, Tristen Reyes, had posh jobs at some of New York City’s hottest restaurants, both were out of work when the pandemic hit.
Now they’ve opened Foirette in the MIA Market food hall in Miami’s Design District, which has already taken off. And they’re not alone. Major Food Group signed leases to open four new restaurants in Miami-Dade this year, according to The Maimi Herald. Formerly a Manhattan hot spot, the restaurant Carbone (with a silent “e”) opened in South Beach in January.
“The number of people I know who are moving here is unbelievable,” Carbone co-founder Jeff Zalaznick told the Herald.
The reasons for all these big moves are obvious: Florida is open and other states are not. Governor DeSantis has allowed for 100% capacity at restaurants, especially outdoors in the Florida sun. States like New York and California remain at limited capacity. All COVID restrictions will be lifted in Florida starting on July 1, and DeSantis signed an executive order on May 3 bridging the gap between now and then to allow more openings.
Nearly nine million Floridians have already received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. “There’s a pretty significant wave of demand across all fronts, from residents to F&B operators alike, to come to Florida right now,” said David Berg, a partner at Infinity Collective, an owner-operator developer of properties in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Miami. Berg spoke to Flamingo about the new arrivals and said he himself will be opening a new restaurant in one of his hotels on Miami Beach.
“Many restaurant operators are just not able to open in the Northeast right now, so they are thinking about Florida,” Berg told Flamingo. “That’s where we think we can do business in 2021.”