If you’re longing for a slice of Miami history, get your tastebuds primed.
Miami’s Best Pizza, a fixture across from the University of Miami on South Dixie Highway for 45 years, is soon to reopen after a three-year absence.
Two restaurant and hospitality industry veterans have partnered with the old owners — Ray Papich and Charlie Butler — and former general manager Thad Winieckie to reopen in a new location at 5833 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in Coral Gables. The restaurant will be housed in the former Sunset Quickprint space near the Titanic brewery and restaurant.
How nearby? Try within view of the original, which was at 1514 S. Dixie Hwy.
Signage is now up on the window of the new location:
“Opening Winter 2018.”
The red logo is the same that graced the original location for more than 25 years: “Miami’s Best Pizza Since 1970.”
Winieckie, Butler’s brother-in-law, explains: “One of the reasons it has taken so long to bring Miami’s Best back is we wanted to find a great location to serve our loyal customer base. The location …we feel great about as we want to create a pizza culture of one with the university and its students. The old Miami’s Best location is within a few hundreds yards of our new spot and within our sights as we continue to use it as our inspiration.”
UM owns the property and will be the landlord. The university recently conducted a survey that found its students wanted a pizza place on campus. The Ponce location is just across San Amaro Drive from UM’s Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field baseball stadium.
But what you really want to know is one thing: Will it taste the same?
“We can not stress this enough. Everything is the same. From the pizza to the sauce, to the salads, to the oven, to the phone number and even down to the box. The Sportsman is back! We also added a few new items and will now serve beer and wine,” said Winieckie. “We were absolutely super careful not to change any of the fundamentals.”