New businesses welcome customers in Miami Lakes

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Thursday, January 5, 2023

     New businesses are popping up all around Miami Lakes. 

     Along Main Street and in three shopping centers, there are new restaurants and bars; niche shops and beauty services opening early this year.

     The restaurants are serving new flavors and cutting-edge cuisine, some with a side of dancing. 

     Many of the business owners are locals who are investing close to home, which goes for a couple of franchises that are opening, too.  

     “Nobody thought we’d see the rejuvenation of Main Street,” Mayor Manny Cid said at the Dec. 14 Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “For a long time, Main Street was kind of like an afterthought. Now today you go any Friday night it’s happening, and things are happening, things are going on.

     “At Chelas [Cocteleria], La Strega [Cucina Italiana & Steakhouse], at the [Miller’s] Ale House, Sweat 440,” Cid said, “that is due to all of you who are investing here, to The Graham Companies, to that vision of redeveloping the center core of our town.”

     There are even more businesses coming to town.

Main Street 

     Since spring 2022, Main Street has seen a flurry of activity as new businesses signed leases and opened their doors. In some cases, established enterprises – Quest Martial Arts, Main Street Players and Styles Miami Boutique -- expanded to new locations.

     Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming opened in mid-November. Miami Laker Yilena Morales and her family own the dog-friendly shop that has bright pink walls and is stocked with fun treats for furry friends. Dogs have free range in the grooming area and it’s doggy heaven. 

Morales said she looked at other Miami Lakes locations but kept coming back to town center. 

     “We wanted to have this store on Main Street,” Morales said. 

     The reception has been “wonderful,” and people have come by to wish her luck, she said. 

     Ailen Lahoz of Aventura, whose mother lives on Main Street, brought her Golden Retriever to Woof Gang. 

     Lahoz said she likes the changes on the street and the dining spots that she crosses the county to enjoy.

     “It’s more lively,” Lahoz said. “We do live all the way over there, but we come for the restaurants over here.”

   She’ll soon have a lot more places to dine. 

     Amazonia Nikkei, a Peruvian Japanese fusion restaurant in the old BurgerIM location, is under construction.

     Pizza Scene expanded to the storefront next door. 

     La Cumbancha will debut in the former Anacapri restaurant space. Co-owners Julio Cabrera and Yoel Suarez will offer Latin fusion cuisine, curated cocktails and live entertainment. 

     Cabrera lives in town and is the renowned bartender/co-founder at Café La Trova in Little Havana. 

     To open in the second quarter of 2023, Cabrera said the Café La Trova experience includes high quality drinks, great live music and food. He chose his hometown for the new restaurant because “We want to bring something of that caliber” to Miami Lakes.

      Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids A franchise owned by Nanette Thompson treats kids like little princes and princesses when they get haircuts and other personal services. In her youth, Thompson scooped ice cream at 

Häagen-Dazs in Windmill Gate.

      Sweat 440 A franchise gym with floor-to-ceiling windows through which passersby can watch athletes do heart-pumping, high intensity interval training.  Owned by Miami Laker Carlos De Varona, he knows the area and says it’s what drew him to invest in town. 

     Undrgrnd Miami Opened in November, the family-run shop owned by Victor Rocha of Palm Springs North sells sneakers and street fashion.  

     Earthy Earth Gems jewelry store and Mardanha’s Lash & Brow Studio, a luxury beauty business, are both set to open in the spring. 

Cypress Village Shopping Center

     La Diosa Taqueria Opening this month in the former Beverly Hills Café location. Owner Youry Ordaz of Doral said he “loves” the shopping center, citing its popularity and cleanliness as reasons why he brought the La Diosa Taqueria concept north from Little Havana.  Also, he was drawn to the sense of community he feels in town. 

     “I like to work with local people,” Ordaz said. 

     The restaurant will have triple the number of seats and will serve its famous tacos with ingredients that have a Miami twist: Pork and platanitos (sweet bananas) share a tortilla. 

     He will also serve birria tacos – typically made with pork or beef and served with a stewed sauce to dip them in. 

     “We try to be authentic Mexican,” Ordaz said. In Miami Lakes, he’ll offer a menu with 20 new items, including steak and branzino, and small bites, too.  Tropical cocktails will be served and brunch will be an option. 

     Ordaz gave away coupons for free tacos during the Main Street Festival of Lights on Nov. 18. 

     “Ninety percent [of people] knew we were going to be opening at Cypress Village,” Ordaz said. 

      BurgerFi  Under construction, the restaurant is next to Starbucks. 

Royal Oaks Plaza

     Island Fin Poke If you’re craving a Walt Disney World Dole Whip [pineapple soft serve ice cream], you won’t have to drive four hours for the sweet treat.  It’s coming soon to this franchise that is under construction.  The eatery offers poke bowls, and deconstructed sushi rolls with rice and fish that are popular in Hawaii. Diners can choose a base ingredient, protein, sauce, toppings and other extras. 

Park Centre Shops

     Café Mi Vitrola Rufino Paulino is opening a third eatery. He owns Dr. Limon Ceviche Bar and Cruzeiro Brazilian Steakhouse, both in the Cypress Village Shopping Center.  Café Mi Vitrola will bring the sounds and feel of Cuba from before the revolution, offering food, drinks and dancing to a once quiet corner of the shopping center. 

     Latin American Grill After a fire in November, it’s being renovated. The beloved restaurant serves Cuban food and is expected to reopen this year; until then, diners can visit the Pembroke Pines location. 

In the photo: Family members and business boosters at the ribbon cutting in new Main Street store Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming on Dec. 16. From left, Delfin Morales; Andrea Graham Rechichi, chair of the Economic Development Committee and vice president of corporate relations for The Graham Companies; Wilfredo Morales; Rafael Schuck, treasurer of the Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce; Woof Gang owner Yilena Morales with Minnie the Yorkie; Aracelis Estrada with Choky the poodle; Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid; Mathew Casamayor, a member of the Economic Development Committee and Miami Lakes Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber members Brandon Diaz and Erika Enid. Photo by Alexandra Herrera.