Staff photo by Emmy Errante
As a part of recent renovations, South Beach Grill installed a large specials board, added new laminate hardwood flooring, and re-stained all of the tables and chairs.
For many restaurants, the dead of winter is a time to renovate and regroup. Restaurants like K38 Baja Grill and South Beach Grill are taking advantage of the downtime to gear up for the 2013 tourist season.
Not having undergone any renovations in its almost 20 years of being open, K38ís Susan Croom said the company was excited about what the new K38 would look like. Renovations to the popular Baja Mexican cantina officially began Tuesday, Jan. 8, and Croom said a mid-March reopening was the target.
When it does reopen, Croom said one of the only things diners will recognize is the menu. After gutting the building, K38 will be outfitted with new tables, chairs and a new bar and updated kitchen. New tile work around the bar and throughout the restaurant will resemble K38 owner Josh Vachís newest restaurant, Las Olas, but Croom said K38 would maintain its rustic atmosphere. New windows will also be added to the west-facing dining room wall to increase the amount of natural lighting inside the building.
In addition to the slower offseason, Croom said Vach chose this time of year to complete the overhaul so that the work would be completed before K38ís 20th anniversary in July.
As it does every year, South Beach Grill closed for maintenance during the holidays, but instead of the usual two-week closing period, owner John Andrews decided to close for three weeks to complete more extensive renovations.
One of the biggest upgrades South Beach Grill received was to the outdoor patio area where the gravel floor was replaced with a poured concrete pad. Andrews said he was especially excited about this change since it provided a better setting for outdoor dining.
Aside from the outdoor patio, all renovations inside South Beach Grill were done by the restaurantís staff members that stayed in town for the holidays, which Andrews said keeps his employees working and acts as a team-building exercise.
New flooring was installed inside the building, where the carpet was replaced with commercial laminate hardwood flooring. The wooden tables and chairs were also sanded and refinished with a dark brown stain, and the booths reupholstered.
A notable addition inside is a large chalkboard where Andrews said the larger daily specials section will be displayed. The chalkboard hung for decades in St. Maryís School and Andrews said he and his wife recovered it from the basement of St. Maryís Tileston building.
To focus on offering the freshest local seafood possible, Andrews said his menu will include more daily specials than before and that the regular menu has shrunk considerably, with only the favorites remaining. Another addition to the South Beach Grill menu is an expanded small plate section, which will also be displayed on the chalkboard.
South Beach Grill is now open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week.