A hot restaurant from Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood is making its way to downtown West Palm Beach, bringing both a meat market and an eatery to a historic old building.
The Butcher Shop Beer Garden & Grill is opening its second South Florida location this coming September at 209 6th Street, between Olive Avenue and Flagler Drive.
The decision to put a new location of its funky concept in West Palm Beach continues to cement the city’s image as a hip town, where innovative eateries move into older buildings and help lift surrounding neighborhoods. For instance, celebrated restaurateur Clay Conley, of Palm Beach’s Buccan fame, just opened a new eatery named Grato at 1901 S. Dixie Highway, in a building formerly home to a lighting store.
The Butcher Shop’s Fred Niznik said he and his father, Igor, have been looking for a new location from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach. When they saw the 6th Street building, the search was over.
“The space is gorgeous,” Fred Niznik said. There’s so much nostalgia. It’s got a rustic look and we like that look.”
The old building features windows made of milk glass, a barrel wood roof and exposed, curved trusses.
Real estate investor Jonathan Gladstone, who recently bought the property, said he’s coveted the building for 25 years. His research indicates it may have been owned or used by the Curtiss Wright Corp. to assemble seaplanes. Even now, the building resembles an airplane hangar.
“It hasn’t been touched in 90 years,” said Gladstone, an architecture aficionado and West Palm Beach real estate broker.
The West Palm Beach restaurant will blend the Butcher Shop restaurant with an old-fashioned meat market run by Igor Niznik in Palm Beach Gardens. The Nizniks own Charlie’s Gourmet Meat Market at 10800 Military Trail.
“Beer goes with a steak, and if you buy that steak to take it home that’s even better,” Fred Niznik said.
Only Black Angus prime beef is served, so customers can feel comfortable knowing they are getting high-quality meat, he said. Other offerings include homemade sausages and burgers.
Igor Niznik is from Russia, so Fred said the food and beer reflect his Eastern European roots. He called The Butcher Shop a “fusion” of Eastern European and German influences, including the German and Czech beers they to serve.
Niznik said he and his father also are big supporters of local breweries, “and we definitely want to incorporate that into our new location.” So look for offerings from breweries such as Twisted Trunk or Saltwater Brewery.
The space is large, with 4,300 square feet inside and 7,000 square feet outside. In addition to the beer garden, Niznik also is considering creating an on site-brewery.
The property is next door to Glidden Spina + Partners Architecture Interior Design, which last year transformed the former Hopkins Marine Hardware Co. at 207 6th Street into its new headquarters.
The properties is on the north side of 6th Street across from the Bank of America building at 625 N. Flagler Drive.
Gladstone has eyed various uses for the 209 building, including an event hall or office center for a tech firm. He also was peppered with offers from investors who wanted to buy the building. In the end, though, Gladstone said he was captivated by the meat market/restaurant concept.
Glidden Spina’s Keith Spina said he welcomes the addition of the restaurant next door. He’s also keen to see a cool outdoor garden, perhaps including some graffitiart, à la Wynwood. “There’s a big blank wall on our side of the building, and I’m happy to let him paint on my building,” Spina said.
Niznik said he hopes to be open by the fall.
Just as The Butcher Shop has become a staple in the Wynwood neighborhood, Niznik said he hopes the West Palm Beach location will become one, too. There’s plenty of families that cook and want to buy quality meats, Fred Niznik said.
But for those who never turn on a grill or oven, there’s always the restaurant: “We cater to those people, too.”
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Gladstone also is fielding offers for two other properties he owns in West Palm Beach. One is the site of the former Gulfstream Seafood Market & Bistro at 3815 S. Dixie Highway. The market shut down last year in anticipation of Gladstone’s purchase, which closed in January.
Gladstone said he bought the property because he thought it would make an ideal location for an antiques store, given its location near Antique Row. The property’s parking was a plus: “It’s got 25 or 30 parking spaces, so it was totally juicy from that standpoint,” he said.
But it looks like the antique store idea might be history because Gladstone said he’s been “overwhelmed” by restaurant interest.
With the aforementioned Grato opening up the street from the property, the Carefree Theatre about to undergo a renovation, and investors pouring money into redevelopments all along the highway, South Dixie Highway suddenly is a chic place to be.
Gladstone’s property is a former Burger King and has vehicular passage on three sides, plus a drive-through from Dixie Highway.
Farther north in the city, Gladstone also is trying to find a new tenant for retail space he owns at 539 Clematis Street.
The property was home to Footwear & More, a division of Action Sports. The store sold athletic shoes and women’s fashion brands. But competition from the Palm Beach Outlets mall hurt the store, as did robberies at the store’s Jupiter warehouse.
In addition, store owners frequently were frustrated by the street parties and emphasis on entertainment and bar hopping by city and business leaders, even though business leaders say they want more retail stores in and around Clematis Street.
Although Gladstone said he could fill the space with another restaurant or bar, he won’t.
“I’m hell-bent on finding a retailer,” he said. “I’m not going to give in to the bars and nightclubs. I would rather it hang vacant than contribute” to drinking district.
Action Sports still has a space on Clematis but now it’s at 537 Clematis Street, in a property Gladstone owns next door to the large store space.