♦ Looks like one PR firm will be working overtime this week. Word on the tweet is that Joey’s, the Italian restaurant in Wynwood, was robbed during dinner service last night. PR guru Natascha Otero tweeted that “there were diners on the floor and hooded men [with] guns.” Wynwood is home to Miami’s vibrant art scene and Second Saturday gallery walks. Most of the prime real estate is owned by Goldman Properties, and there is a lot of good stuff happening out there in addition to the art galleries (see, e.g., Panther Coffee, Lester’s). Hopefully this won’t be a setback to progress being made in the neighborhood, but perhaps a few more security guards are warranted. (Update: The Herald has posted an article on the robbery.)
♦ In case you don’t subscribe to Nation’s Restaurant News or your subscription just expired, the publication recently ran a Q&A with Sam Nazarian, CEO of SBE which runs the SLS brand (I just wanted to toss out a bunch of acronyms that mean nothing. I’m done now), in which Nazarian said that SLS Miami should be open in the first quarter of 2012. The SLS hotel will be located at Collins Avenue and 17th Street and is set to feature a branch of The Bazaar by Jose Andres and Katsuya. Sounds like things are still on schedule, or actually a bit ahead of schedule, barring any delays (which, let’s face it, always occur). Nazarian recently purchased a “significant stake” in Umami Burger and expects the burger chain to expand quickly. Last we heard, Miami was expecting an Umami Burger in the Design District, but now that Nazarian is on board, perhaps it’ll pop up at the SLS instead.
♦ Andrew Balick, a young chef who was getting good reviews at Pied a Terre on South Beach before parting ways with that restaurant, is headed to the Ritz Carlton, also on South Beach. Short Order reports that Balick has been named the Chef de Cuisine at the DiLido Beach Club (Jeff McInnis’ old job).