New year, new names for The Graham Companies' gym, hotel and golf course

Featured By Linda Trischitta, Editor Wednesday, January 5, 2022

     The New Year brings new names and brands to three of the best-known attractions in Miami Lakes.

      Once known as Shula’s facilities, they are now called Miami Lakes Golf Club, Miami Lakes Hotel on Main and the Miami Lakes Athletic Club.

      “Miami Lakes has its own identity as a major municipality, and we’re looking to the future for the hospitality division,” said Andrea Graham Rechichi, vice president of corporate relations for The Graham Companies.

     Graham Rechichi is a member of the fourth generation of the Graham family which developed the town from its dairy farm.

     The family and the firm’s presence in Miami Lakes is coming up on 90 years strong; the company owns the three entities that are being rebranded.

     The golf course was known as the Miami Lakes Country Club when it opened almost 60 years ago, Graham Rechichi said.

     When the late NFL Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula was leading the Miami Dolphins to their historic seasons in the 1970s, he was a neighbor of many Graham family members who lived in the Loch Lomond neighborhood. 

      In the early 1990s, Shula partnered with the company’s hospitality division, and two restaurants, a hotel, spa and athletic club bore his name and helped build the reputations of those businesses.

     “The Shulas and the Grahams are lifelong family friends,” Graham Rechichi said. “Our company is going back to its roots.”

        Shula is among the inaugural class in the Miami Lakes Sports Hall of Fame and was inducted in 2017. A plaque in his honor hangs in the clubhouse at Miami Lakes Optimist Park.  Shula was living in Miami when he died in May, 2020.    

      Shula’s Athletic Club, at 15150 Bull Run Rd., is now called the Miami Lakes Athletic Club.

      At the Miami Lakes Golf Course at 7601 Miami Lakes Drive, the Bull Pen restaurant with views of the greens has reopened for lunch service, Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  The menu includes half-pound burgers, salads, sandwiches and adult beverages.

      The former Shula’s Steak 2 will be called ML Steaks + Sports. It is inside the Miami Lakes Hotel on Main, at 6842 Main St., and will offer a Happy Hour menu.  New dishes offered during regular service include Short Rib Beef Stroganoff; a Bell & Evan Farms organic Bourbon BBQ Glazed Chicken; Firecracker Shrimp; a pulled Mojo Pork sandwich; a Chop-Chop salad and a new dessert, Sweet Crepes Dulce de Leche.  

     “We are extremely excited about the new name for the hotel and to put Miami Lakes at the forefront for the town and our customers,” said David Healy, vice president and general manager of Graham Hospitality.

      The hotel has 205 guest rooms, 17 suites and resort-style amenities including a pool and lush landscaping. It is centrally located and is convenient to Hard Rock Stadium; downtown Miami and Miami Beach; several airports and area attractions. It regularly hosts professional and amateur sports teams; high school reunions and business conferences.

     Guests have access to the 45,000 square foot athletic club; fitness classes, nine lighted tennis courts and the championship 18-hole golf course.

   “Our hopes are that our customers will continue to trust in our hospitality expertise as they make lasting memories of their stay while they sleep, dine, and play at the Miami Lakes Hotel,” Healy said.