The Arlo Wynwood Hotel will feature food and drink from Brad Kilgore and Bar Lab
For the past two years, many Miamians have wondered what happened to Brad Kilgore. For years, Kilgore has built his reputation as Miami’s most innovative and creative chef with his restaurants Alter, Kaido and Ember. When the pandemic hit, Kilgore quietly closed its restaurants. He got busy though. “I’ve run the Concours Club and organized events for some big brands. I’m doing really well.”
Kilgore and his wife, Soraya, also welcomed a baby boy earlier this year. Still, Miamians wondered when they could taste the food of this young talent again. Kilgore tells new times he was in no hurry. “I didn’t want to do anything that didn’t completely excite me.”
Everything changed when Elad Zvi asked his friend Brad for coffee. “Having coffee with Elad led to a partnership with a project that intrigued me,” says Kilgore.
Zvi, owner of Bar Lab with his partner Gabe Orta, told Kilgore that they are handling beverage operations for the Arlo hotel which will soon open in Wynwood and that they wanted to speak with Kilgore about managing the food side. . Kilgore explains that the three men have been friends for about a decade. “We kicked the box more than a couple times about working on something together. It was ‘what-iffing’, that’s basically it.”
This time, however, the time was right and the project made sense. “It’s a natural progression of our friendship and the respect we have for each other. Having that balance between what they bring to the table and what I do is the most exciting part,” said Kilgore said.
More than anything, Kilgore felt directing the food for the first major hotel to open in Wynwood felt right. “Wynwood has been in my blood for eight years. I will always hold a special place in my heart for Wynwood and the creativity he represents,” he says.
When Arlo Wynwood opens in fall 2022, it will house multiple dining outlets, including a rooftop terrace, third-floor cocktail bar and exclusive restaurant that will highlight the collaborative efforts of Kilgore, Orta and Zvi. Kilgore wouldn’t give too many details about the downstairs restaurant, except to say it will feature a semi-open kitchen with a chef’s pass in the dining room. The restaurant will have indoor/outdoor seating surrounded by landscaping. “The restaurant will have a healthy-sized cocktail bar for Bar Lab cocktails,” Kilgore said. “It will be a concept that will intrigue and excite everyone,” the chef teases, adding that the restaurant will serve lunch and dinner, while the upstairs lounge will offer late-night fare.
Kilgore says he looks forward to collaborating with his Bar Lab partners. “We inspire each other with different ideas,” he says, adding that some dishes and cocktails will be made with shared ingredients. “For example, I went to Belize and there’s an amazing hot sauce made with Scotch Bonnet peppers and carrots. I want to make it available to our guests and I want to incorporate it into a cocktail.”
Kilgore says Bar Lab is working on a citrus-flavored liqueur. “We’re also going to use it in a dessert,” he says, adding, “just the idea of us all working together to bring something new to Miami is amazing. I’m really excited.”
When the as-yet-unnamed restaurant and lounge opens, Kilgore will have come full circle with its relationship with Wynwood. When Alter opened in the spring of 2015, Wynwood was still a bohemian neighborhood filled with graffiti and empty lots. Today, the landscape has changed and new buildings are popping up every day, including the Arlo Wynwood. “Arlo built this hotel from the ground up, which is amazing. I feel like Wynwood is a teenager who’s about to become an adult and I want to be here when he matures.”
Arlo Wynwood. 2217 Northwest Miami County, Miami; arlohotels.com. Opening fall 2022.