Spring Chicken, Lulu’s opening on Alton Road in South Beach
The Real Deal by Ina Cordle
Spring Chicken, the new fast-casual concept from John Kunkel’s 50 Eggs, is opening its third location this month at 1439 Alton Road, along with Lulu’s, a nitrogen ice cream shop, The Real Deal has learned.
The Miami Beach site was formerly occupied by BTW, another 50 Eggs brand, and earlier, was the original site for Lime, the Mexican restaurant chain Kunkel launched, expanded and sold to Ruby Tuesday for $24 million in 2012.
“I’ve always loved that spot. It helped launch Lime, which helped launch 50 Eggs,” Kunkel told TRD. “I ended up speaking with the landlord and getting a master lease on all three parcels for the next 15 years.”
Alton Road in South Beach is undergoing a transformation with new dining spots like Al’s, a 24-hour diner that Menin Hospitality is bringing to the old Firestone service station on Alton and 15th Street, Crescent Heights’ planned mixed-use project 1212 Lincoln Road at Alton and 16th Street and Rock Soffer and Turnberry Associates’ planned development at 1698 Alton Road.
Spring Chicken, which Kunkel calls “Shake Shack meets Chick-fil-A,” will occupy 1,000 square feet at 1439 Alton Road, and will share a courtyard with Lulu’s. A third, as yet undetermined concept will occupy a house in the back. Property records show Edith Wigoda owns the property, and Kunkel said he has leased it for more than 10 years from her and her late husband. The rate is in the $40s per-square-foot, he said.
“My vision for the property is to transform it with uses I think are appropriate… and we started looking for uses that would be complimentary and and weren’t on the Beach,” he said.
Spring Chicken had originally planned to open in the space before the end of last year, but Kunkel said he decided to push back the date so he could concentrate on a Fort Lauderdale site first.
Spring Chicken and Lulu’s are now aiming for an Aug. 25 opening date, and the third concept will open in September, he said.
It will be the second location for Lulu’s, which launched at 2001 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami in 2013.
Luisa Santos, Lulu’s owner, said her 421-square-foot space will incorporate natural elements, like counters made of reclaimed wood, in line with her “cow-to-cone” theme. “This kind of nook in the middle of the Beach is very intimate, even though it’s on Alton Road,” she toldTRD.
Spring Chicken launched in Coral Gables in January, at 1514 South Dixie Highway. A second location opened two months ago at 2400 North Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. A fourth location is expected to open in October at Miami International Airport.
Kunkel said his plan is to roll out the concept across South Florida and then nationally. Next year he hopes to open five locations, and is looking at sites in Aventura, Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines and Plantation. “They are great locations that we know well from the Lime days,” he said.
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