Chef Norman Van Aken to bring cooking school, restaurant to Wynwood
04.19.2016 | The Real Deal

Chef Norman Van Aken to bring cooking school, restaurant to Wynwood

Bring out the knives and sauté pans – chef Norman Van Aken is heading to Wynwood.

The James Beard award-winning chef will open a restaurant and cooking school at East End Capital’s Wynwood Arcade, a retail and restaurant project with tenants that include men’s clothing store Bonobos, fashion retailer Muse, the Salty Donut and furniture store Patrizia Bozzi Design.

Van Aken is leasing a 5,500-square-foot restaurant space with a rooftop bar and lounge at the arcade, an adaptive re-use mixed-use development. There, he’ll open a Caribbean and Latin American-influenced restaurant along with co-owners Candace Walsh and Susan Buckley, who have worked with Ace Hotels, Il Mulino and the Spotted Pig.

In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken will span 2,200 square feet and offer programs that teach cuisines and cooking techniques, according to a press release.

Metro 1 brokered the Wynwood lease, according to a spokesperson. Tony Arellano, executive vice president at the commercial brokerage, is the exclusive listing agent for the project at 50 Northwest 24th Street, where asking rents have averaged $55 triple-net. Arellano told The Real Deal that Van Aken signed a 10-year lease for his cooking school and restaurant.

The Wynwood Arcade will open “any day now,” Arellano said. Available space ranges from 700 square feet to 2,500 square feet. East End, led by Jonathon Yormak and David Peretz, paid $11 million along with Yellow Side Ventures for the entire block on the west side of North Miami Avenue, between 24th Street and 25th Street, in January 2015. The purchase included a separate parcel across the street. And nearby, East End is planning a mixed-use apartment development. That project, 240 Northwest 25th Street, will include 275 apartments, 30,000 square feet of retail and 350 parking spaces.

Van Aken originally had plans to open in the Kitchen at the Vagabond Hotel in Miami’s MiMo neighborhood. Vagabond owner and developer Avra Jain, as well as Van Aken, could not be immediately reached for comment, so it is unclear if he still plans to open at the hotel on Biscayne Boulevard. In February, the Miami Herald reported the Vagabond cooking school was under construction and “on the brink of opening.” As planned, the school will feature one kitchen with 16 work stations, according to the newspaper. Classes will range from $75 to $125.

The chef currently owns Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Lakes in Orlando.