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Restaurant broker to open Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee

Staff writer

After 14 years brokering some of the biggest restaurant deals in South Florida, Athan “Tom” Prakas is returning to where he started.

By early next year, Prakas and partner Davin Tran will be operating four Rhino Doughnuts and Coffee locations, serving gourmet doughnuts and small-batch roasted coffee.

“I always wanted to do something where I could keep it simple, stupid,” says Prakas, who in 1997 sold the last of the 28 restaurants and nightclubs he owned in Ohio and in South Florida. “I want to create a cutting-edge coffee and doughnut brand. Krispy Kreme does great. Dunkin Donuts is phenomenally successful. We want to bring something to the market where we’re going to be in a different market than them.”

The first four locations will be in Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Riverfront, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Mizner Park in Boca Raton and Sunrise, which will also serve as Rhino’s baking center and commissary.

The executive pastry chef is Keith Frieman, former pastry chef at Smith and Wollensky in Miami Beach and the Boca Raton Resort and Club. Frieman has already created several doughnut varieties, including chocolate-maple-bacon and strawberry shortcake. Altogether, Rhino will serve more than 20 doughnuts, muffins and sticky buns. Fillings and glazes will be made from scratch.

Rhino will also sell doughnut shakes, a version of the popular Dairy Queen Blizzard. Doughnut sundaes, made with Blue Bell Ice Cream, will be offered with any Rhino doughnut.

Prakas says he’s not giving up his day job as president of Prakas and Co., one of South Florida’s biggest restaurant brokers. Among the restaurants his company works with are Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Hurricane Grill and Wings, and Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which owns Lobster Bar Sea Grille in Fort Lauderdale as well as Boca Raton restaurants City Fish Market and Chops Lobster Bar.

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