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The Eat Beat Dining around South Florida
with Mike Mayo

Aventura Mall raises its food game with Genuine Pizza and new food court featuring Shake Shack

The Aventura Mall will elevate its food offerings in coming months as an expansion wing opens, making the prospect of shopping during the crowded winter season a bit more palatable. Among the newcomers: Genuine Pizza from Miami chef Michael Schwartz, Shake Shack, Luke’s Lobster, Figs by Todd English, My Ceviche, Poke 305 and the Bol.

The first arrival will be Genuine Pizza, expected to open by early December. Then comes a food court dubbed Treats Food Hall, which will open on the third floor of the expansion wing in early 2018. The new food court will feature a dozen well-regarded eateries, including Shake Shack, a popular burgers-and-fries chain from New York restaurateur Danny Meyer that is a cut above typical fast food; My Ceviche, a Miami-based outfit serving marinated raw fish and Peruvian cuisine; and Figs by Todd English, a pizza bistro from the noted Boston-based chef.

“We’re creating an immersive dining experience that will be unlike any other,” Jackie Soffer, CEO of Turnberry Associates, owner and manager of Aventura Mall, says in a press release. “Treats Food Hall will be highlighted by design aesthetics, attention to detail, and a carefully selected collection of eateries.”

Genuine Pizza will be on the ground floor, separate from the food hall. It will mark the rebranding launch of the casual gourmet pizza concept previously known as Harry’s Pizzeria, named for Schwartz’s son. Genuine plays off the name of Schwartz’s flagship restaurant, Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, in the Miami Design District.

Schwartz’s restaurant group plans to open six Genuine Pizzas in the next two years, including in Sunrise (the Metropica complex) and Atlanta. Existing Harry’s — in midtown Miami, Coconut Grove and downtown Dadeland — will eventually switch to the Genuine Pizza name.

“It’s funny to think that we’re opening in a mall, but times are changing and malls are changing,” Schwartz says. “Malls are getting killed online, and in order for them to compete, they’re looking more to food and beverage.”

The Treats Food Hall, expected to open by February 2018, is part of the mall’s 315,000-square-foot expansion, and it shows that mall food is not just Sbarro, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Panda Express anymore. Shoppers have grown increasingly sophisticated and demanding when it comes to food. The Aventura Mall draws a diverse crowd of locals and international visitors.

The new offerings will join Aventura Mall’s existing 29 eateries and food stores, including Cheesecake Factory, Grand Lux Cafe, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and (yes) Sbarro.

Others in the Treats Food Hall lineup: Luke’s Lobster, a Northeastern chain with lobster rolls, chowders and bisques; Gogo Fresh, a cafe with wraps, juices and salads; My Ceviche, which has six other South Florida locations; Zuuk Mediterranean Kitchen, with dips and pitas; Poke 305, with Hawaiian-style marinated raw fish bowls; Hank & Harry’s Delicatessen, with New York Jewish deli fare such as pastrami and matzo-ball soup; Sliderz, a national fast-casual sandwich chain; and the Bol, an Asian bistro that is found at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood and the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino.

More restaurants are expected to open in the expansion wing including Tap 42 Kitchen amd Bar, Pubbelly Sushi, Cvi.che 105, Serafina, Blue Bottle, Joe and the Juice, and Le Pain Quotidien.

mmayo@southflorida.com, 954-356-4508. Follow my food adventures on Instagram: @mikemayoeats. Sign up for my weekly dining newsletter at SouthFlorida.com/EatBeatMail.

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