On the dining and entertainment front, two local heavyweights are set to collaborate for the first time.
CH’I, a Latin-Chinese dining and entertainment concept, has announced that it will open at Brickell City Centre in early 2021.
The spot marks the first collaboration between Breakwater Hospitality Group — which operates the Wharf Miami, the Wharf Fort Lauderdale, and Rivertail — and Grove Bay Hospitality Group, the name behind restaurants like Stubborn Seed and Red Rooster.
“Francesco Balli, Ignacio Garcia-Menocalco, Alex Mantecon, and I have been friends for years, and we have always been extremely supportive of each other’s businesses,” says Breakwater cofounder Emi Guerra. “While we both work in hospitality, our brands differ, and Los Chinos is the perfect combination of both.”
CH’I promises to be a multifunctional complex with Chinese and Latin American culinary creations and culture at its core. The complex will feature four distinct rooms and experiences: the Garden, the Mercado, the main dining room, and the Lounge.
Guerra says highlights of the various rooms include vintage design elements that create a traditional Chinese market vibe in the Mercado, cabana-style seating in the Garden, and everything from late-night dancing to thumping tunes in the main dining room.
When it comes to the name “CH’I,” Guerra sees it as a way to re-create the joy he experienced as a kid when his family went out for Chinese.
“When I was younger, every Sunday, my entire family would either go out to eat Chinese food or order it in,” he says. “It was my absolute favorite day of the week because we got to eat food that was not only tasty and brought so much joy but also brought our family together. With CH’I, I hope to bring back that exact sentiment — joy, comfort, and pure happiness.”
Each of CH’I’s four rooms will sever some manner of food and drink, from tapas-style dishes and traditional Chinese takeout offerings to dim sum and craft cocktails. Guerra’s menu favorites are ropa vieja spring rolls, a lomo saltado bao bun, and Peking duck tacos.
As for opening a brand-new spot amid the pandemic, it’s certainly taken some maneuvering, but the finish line is on the horizon.
“As for launching a new concept, we had been working and solidifying the CH’I concept prior to COVID-19,” Guerra explains. “Pivoting and modifying the concept to adhere to Centers for Disease Control guidelines has been challenging but necessary. However, we are working through it, and we are committed to providing a fun, high-energy, and safe experience for all.”
CH’I. Brickell City Centre, 701 S. Miami Ave., Miami; chibrickell.com. Opening early 2021.