Seasalt & Pepper to become Seaspice Brasserie & Lounge this week

Seasalt & Pepper, the year-old Miami River hot spot (422 NW N. River Dr.) that’s enjoyed critical success and more than a dash of controversy in its relatively brief lifetime, will be renamed and rebranded Seaspice Brasserie & Lounge, effective Thursday, has learned exclusively. 

The name change is the result of a trademark-infringement lawsuit filed by Naples restaurant Sea Salt. A federal judge ordered Seasalt & Pepper to take “sea salt” out of its signs, menus and social media sites by Jan. 1, and the restaurant is adhering to that (it also appears to be taking no chances this time around, filing a trademark application for its new Seaspice name). 

With new executive chef Angel Leon at the helm and a new restaurant-within-a-restaurant concept (Modern Garden) just getting off the ground, Seasalt — er, Seaspice — is hoping to continue its forward momentum, a spokesman says. He adds that the restaurant’s new name reflects its “more global menu,” drawing influences from various ports of call and the spices found at each. Seaspice’s owners also are hoping to expand the concept to Los Angeles and perhaps South America.   

Oh, and that little octopus on the restaurant’s (old) logo? He’s sticking around for the new branding and will become the restaurant’s unofficial mascot, named — wait for it — Seaspice.