MIAMI BEACH — Mr. Worldwide, aka Pitbull, is set to launch a new eatery in Miami Beach. Housed in the former Bon Air Hotel, the restaurant, named iLov305, is scheduled to open next summer.
“Pitbull and his team will be actively involved,” an iLove305 spokesperson stated. “We are excited to be working with Pitbull and his team on this project.”
Featuring a cocktail lounge and daiquiri bar, the rapper’s new venture comes on the heels of his 2012 investment into Miami Grill, formerly Miami Subs Grill, a Key West chain established in 1988.
Miami Grill recently announce plans to expand in North Florida with its first restaurant in Jacksonville.
“We’re excited to expand the brand to the Jacksonville market,” said Robert Haar, Vice President of Franchise Development at Miami Grill. “The expansion of Miami Grill is crucial to our overall success and we look forward to developing the brand in North Florida. We are actively seeking a second site in Jacksonville for another franchise group.”
Born and raised in Miami, the Cuban-American artist has been slowly but surely expanding his empire with stakes in companies such as Voli Vodka, as well as radio and television deals.
With an estimated net worth of $50 million, Pitbull is one of the music industry’s most resounding success stories. His first album, M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue), released in 2004, was a runaway hit. Since then, he has dropped 10 albums, including this year’s Climate Change.
The rapper purchased the Bon Air’s ground floor at 1060 Ocean Drive for $18.3 million in 2012. He plans on restoring the original 1934 design of the facade. The restaurant will be housed on the ground and basement levels.
“We are not changing anything,” said project architect Mario Echevarria. “We will be able to achieve and maintain every historical element.”
“It will be a full-service restaurant and bar,” said Alfredo Gonzalez, attorney for the Nakash family, which owns several Ocean Drive properties. “This project will be activating the corner of 10th Street and Ocean, which has been very quiet.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Pitbull lent his private plane to transport cancer patients from Puerto Rico to United States for continued treatment.
Pitbull is currently on tour with Miami neighbor Enrique Iglesias. They are scheduled to perform on November 11 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.
No word on what the restaurant’s signature dish will be. My vote is for a spicy version of Arroz a la Cubana.