Inside look: 1000 North restaurant, part-owned by Michael Jordan, Ernie Els

Jan 30, 2018
Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post
The new 1000 North restaurant in Jupiter is perched by the Loxahatchee River. 

You may be tempted to refer to the grand new restaurant and club on the Jupiter waterfront as “the Michael Jordan restaurant.” After all, the former NBA superstar is the most famous partner of the high-profile partners at 1000 North, which quietly opened last weekend to private-club members and their guests. 

But here’s what you need to know about the upscale establishment that’s poised to transform the Jupiter Inlet district when it opens to the public Feb. 12: It may be stylish. It may be sophisticated. It may love prime steaks, excellent wine and a fine cigar. But it’s most definitely not trying to be like Mike. 

»Look inside 1000 North: The food and the views will wow you

The team behind 1000 North is leaving the Jordan-branded restaurant thing to the star’s other restaurants, which include three Michael Jordan’s Steak Houses, a Michael Jordan’s Restaurant, plus two Jordan spots at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. 

Unlike The Woods, the nearby restaurant owned and branded by that other Jupiter-based sports megastar, Tiger Woods, 1000 North aims to transcend any one personality. That doesn’t mean you may not spot Jordan, pro golfer Ernie “Big Easy” Els or any of the other distinguished co-owners there. It means you will not be ordering MJ’s Delmonico steak or MJ’s chopped salad as you might at Jordan’s steakhouse in Chicago. 

Options: A few of the food and drink offerings at 1000 North. (Prime rib at top right, beets and blackberries salad at bottom left, and yellowedge grouper with squash confit at bottom right.)  Photo: Photos by LibbyVision.com

While 1000 North leans into a steakhouse profile, the focus here is on the wider menu, the wine, the coastal-chic vibe, the setting and the cigars. When the restaurant officially debuts, its food and drink offerings and plate presentations are set to rival those of some top county restaurants. With a private lounge and terrace perched at the top of the building and spacious dining and drinking areas sprawled across the main level, the restaurant checks many of the Inlet’s must-have boxes: outdoor bar, fire pits, Jupiter Lighthouse views, varied menus, boat access, accessible parking. 

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All for a price, of course – 1000 North has the heftiest prices in the Inlet district. But, hey, where else in the Inlet area might you spot MJ docking his boat? Where else might you catch an Ernie Els sighting or smoke an Arturo Fuente cigar while gazing out onto the Loxahatchee River? In fact, tobacco devotees, Cigar Aficionado’s founder, top editor and publisher Marvin Shanken, is also a partner at 1000 North. 

Last weekend, Jordan dined with Shanken and other co-owners at a soft-opening party for 1000 North partners. They enjoyed Florida stone crab soup, a choice of entrée (prime steak, yellowedge grouper, wood-grilled rack of lamb or winter squash risotto) with sides and desserts served family-style. The dishes were paired with a crisp pinot grigio from Italy’s Friuli region and a rich Alexander Valley cabernet by Jordan (no relation) winery. 

Didn’t get an invite? No worries. The place opens to the public in less than two weeks. Here are a few things to know about 1000 North: 

Steak and egg: 1000 North's fancy rendition of prime steak tartare, served with a fried egg, olives and pistachios ($22).  Photo: Photo by LibbyVision.com

The menu is fancy. 

The menu pops with foodie lingo, sprinkling references to global ingredients and preparations, from aguachile to citrus labneh to maque choux. But look beyond the stone crab knuckles and cannolicchi pasta and you’ll grasp a steakhouse feel to the offerings: six prime steak cuts ($38 to $68), four varieties of composed butters, sturdy sides (potato puree, mac and cheese a la carbonara, truffle salt fries and charred broccolini, priced from $10 to $14), a range of fish and fowl entrée dishes ($32 to $52) and Dijon-crusted prime rib ($58 king cut, $48 queen cut). Add to that smaller bites and pasta dishes and you’ve got options. 

Yes, menu items are pricey – and there’s a good reason for this, says 1000 North’s managing director, Luke Bjoin: “The quality matches the price. What we are offering is premium product. Even our well liquors are on the high end.” 

Gin and tonic gone glam: The Shoemaker is 1000 North's rendition of the classic, and it is made with Hendrick's gin, cucumber, lime and housemade "Southside" tonic.  Photo: Photo by LibbyVision.com

There’s no happy hour. 

It’s not that kind of party. Signature cocktails at 1000 North start at $15 each. The bar menu ranges in price from $15 to $39 per item. Bar dishes range from a $20 burger to a $16 smoked kingfish dip to a $36 poached lobster roll. Deal-seekers may find more affordable prices during summer months, when an off-season specials menu is planned. 

The back patio at 1000 North offers waterway views, lounge seating, fire pits and an outdoor bar.  Photo: Photo by Kim Seng

There’s no tiki hut, either. 

There’s a handsome outdoor terrace with a stand-alone kiosk bar, and the vibe is a relaxed one. But don’t expect beer buckets and fritters. An interesting thing about this bar is that it sits by the docks in a kind of cul de sac that’s fringed with waterfront condo residences. 

The tiki-less factor is music to Jon Sullivan’s ears. He’s the general manager at Guanabanas tropical restaurant and bar, which sits across U.S. 1 on the waterway. 

“The thing that always concerns us is when someone wants to open another tiki bar out here – there are enough of us trying to do the same concept. But (1000 North) took it in a little different direction. They’re going after a different demographic. They have an opportunity to carve a niche in the Inlet district,” says Sullivan. “To us it feels so different from what we’re all doing. We’re all, like, ‘It’s cool, man.’” 

Hello, lighthouse: The view from the private-club terrace atop 1000 North.   Photo: Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

The view is splendid. 

It may not be the direct Jupiter Lighthouse view one gets at U-Tiki or Jetty’s, which sit across U.S. 1 just east of 1000 North, but the property offers views of Inlet waters, boats and, punctuating the middle distance, the lighthouse. 

An exterior view of Jupiter’s 1000 North restaurant and club, as seen from the east.  Photo: Damon Higgins/ The Palm Beach Post

There’s a dream team behind the place. 

Three years ago, developer Ira Fenton and former New York Giants running back Tucker Frederickson began to reach out to investors who would become 1000 North’s founding partners. The duo had helped bring to life The Bear’s Club and Jupiter’s former Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa. They enlisted businessman Bjarne Borg, who owns the 1000 N. U.S. Highway 1 site, where Charlie’s Crab and later Brix once stood. The partnership came into include Jordan, Els, Shanken, winery owner and vintner Bill Terlato and more than a dozen other investors. 

“We collaborated with a group of talented, like-minded people to create a club and dining experience that just doesn’t exist in South Florida,” Els said in a statement provided to The Post by the restaurant. “We love having homes here, but wanted to give this area a place it truly deserved – the type of destination people would normally travel to Miami or New York to find.” 

The golf Hall of Famer knows a thing or two about food and wine. Not only does he produce Ernie Els Wines with winemaker Louis Strydom, the Jupiter resident opened Big Easy Winebar & Grill by Ernie Els near downtown Miami in 2016. The restaurant pays homage to his South African roots. 

At left, 1000 North’s managing director Luke Bjoin. At right, executive chef Lee Morris.  Photo: Photo by Tracey Benson

The culinary and management team is noteworthy, too. 

Bjoin, the restaurant’s managing director, earned his hospitality chops working with the groundbreaking Nobu restaurants, a global concept brought to life by Japanese-born, Peruvian-influenced chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Bjoin has played key, front-of-house roles in various Nobu locations, from Las Vegas to Hawaii to Dubai to Miami. 

In the kitchen at 1000 North, you’ll find executive chef Lee Morris, whose culinary tastes lean Southern and coastal. Morris has spent years in upscale corporate restaurants such as Hillstone restaurants and Bricktop’s. (He worked as executive chef at Bricktop’s Palm Beach location.) 

Working behind the scenes at 1000 North and very much a culinary factor there is Stephen Asprinio, a Jupiter-based sommelier and restaurant/hospitality consultant perhaps better known to TV-watching foodies as a “Top Chef” star. Asprinio appeared on Season 1 of the Bravo TV series in 2006 and in “Top Chef: All Stars” four years later. At 1000 North, he has helped to craft all the menus and worked on everything from dish concepts to cocktail details. 

Members only: The private-club lounge atop 1000 North offers waterway and lighthouse views.   Photo: Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Club membership is elusive. 

Membership to 1000 North’s private club component is closed – it was cut off at 200 members, says managing director Bjoin. You must be invited to join the club and pay $3500 a year. The fee entitles members to visit the upstairs lounge and to first dibs on reservations for the downstairs private dining room and chef’s table. But even if you join the club, you may not be able to access its private lounge and look-out terrace upstairs. The private areas hold about 70 people. And while there is a small-bites menu upstairs, the full menu is served only downstairs. 

A subtle nautical theme lends character to 1000 North’s indoor dining areas as well as its main bar.   Photo: Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

Celebrities won’t be hassled. 

Not by the restaurant staff anyway. If you’re a celebrity, worry not – the team at 1000 North won’t sweat you. 

“Throughout my career, I’ve dealt with celebrities. They are normal people and they want good service. They don’t want the staff to bother them. We’ve gone over this with our staff, like, ‘Hey, let them enjoy their meal,’” says managing director Bjoin. 

That said, the aim here is to make hotshots and regular folk alike feel comfortable, as if they are visiting relatives, says Bjoin. 

Stylish touches: table decor in bar area of 1000 North in Jupiter. Photo: Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post

And, no, don’t call it Michael Jordan’s restaurant. 

The restaurant brass is touchy on this. Requests for an interview with Jordan (or even select quotes from him) were denied, as was a request for a photograph of Jordan at the restaurant last weekend. 

“Michael Jordan is the largest star on the planet and he is a great person to partner with. So are all the partners here,” says Bjoin. “We don’t want it to be known as just Michael’s restaurant. Ira (Fenton) and Tucker (Frederickson), they brought everyone together. Every single piece is important.” 

1000 North 

1000 N. U.S. Highway 1, Jupiter; 561-570-1000