Munch, a ghost kitchen hall, opens in Coconut Grove
Munch, a virtual dining room designed by chef Aaron Dreilinger, is operational in Coconut Grove.
The food room / ghost kitchen hybrid offers counter service and six different food concepts to choose from, including Jennifer and Michele Kaminski’s 2Korean Girls and Baba G’s, Dreilinger’s own version of Middle Eastern cuisine at based on homemade sauces and products from Zaytouna Foods.
Dreilinger purchased the venue so he could expand the operations of Florida Avenue Hospitality, the wedding catering business he has run for 15 years. But when COVID hit, large gatherings were called off and business stopped.
“What am I going to do here?” “I wondered”, says Dreilinger New times. “Colleagues and friends who were in the industry said, ‘We need a kitchen – a space to work in right now,’ so we invited a few people in. The industry was moving towards delivery and pickup. even before COVID. Diners were already ordering food over the phone, so we thought: Why not, we’ll test the waters. This could be a big restaurant, but maybe we can fit eight here instead. . ”
At first, the space was occupied only by 2Korean Girls. Partners Jennifer and Michele Kaminsky opened their virtual restaurant in December 2020 in the Coconut Grove space, with the help of veteran chef Allen Susser. When it turned out to be successful, Dreilinger knew he was on to something.
Join forces with Srinath Perera, a former Yum executive! Brands, Burger King and Reef Technologies, Dreilinger drew on his experience as a business leader for Celebrity Cruise Lines and reached out to other entrepreneurs. Each food station is essentially its own restaurant and the staff are trained to work in each of them.
“I thought if we applied the cruise ship mentality and brands worked from the same commissary kitchen, we would all share the process,” he explains. “Brands can do their own marketing, packaging and we act as operators. Everyone needs help right now.”
The space can accommodate 50 diners and the Munch app allows customers to order from multiple concepts for both delivery or take out.
In addition to Baba G’s and 2Korean Girls, the roster includes Saucy Flamingo (chicken wings and gourmet pub offerings) and Stache Burger, a collaboration with the Florida Fresh Beef company. Dumpling Lady and Pup and Pantry complete the line, a local producer of homemade organic dog treats and foods like “pupghetti” and meatballs.
Customers can also sample local beers on tap from Miami Brewing Co., Veza Sur, Cigar City Brewing, Funky Buddha, and others.
“There is room for more,” says Dreilinger, who is keen to continue bringing “local heart brands” into the Munch family.
“If you’re a local brand, we want to meet you and sell your food,” he says. “We have the ability to add a few more to the Grove location, and the idea is to replicate the concept in different areas with different specialty offerings. ”
Crunch. 2801a Florida Avenue, Miami; 305-469-2788; eatatmunch.com. Open Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner, Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for dinner, and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.