In his mid-70s now, Mark Soyka isn’t retiring from the restaurant biz even though his Van Dyke Cafe is now a Lululemon and his visionary News Cafe is no longer a youngster at 28-years-old.
His namesake restaurant at 55th and Biscayne was the catalyst for the rebirth of that area and, on November 1, Soyka will strike again, this time at the Old Pump House, 5808 NE 4th Court, a space he’s had his eyes on for years, fighting to have it zoned as a restaurant.
Opening in that space is Café Roval, described as a “laid back locals’ joint featuring farm-to-table creations by Chef Nuno Grullon, and a magical backyard where small bites and cocktails will be served.”
We asked Soyka how it feels to be opening a restaurant after all these years, and he told us, “I am very excited about the location because it is very unique, and I have had my eye it for many years. It is called the Coral House because it was built out of coral, and then became the Pump House providing water for the surrounding neighborhood. It is on the same street as my other restaurants and I live in the neighborhood. But, the building has been vacant for many years. When I was lucky enough to get possession of it, I decided I would build a restaurant. One of my passions is building, and the other is running a restaurant. My goal is to create a very exciting place for people to go and I think that’s what it will be because it is very unique. This restaurant is going to be unlike any of my other restaurants. I am an only child, so each restaurant is its own identity.”
And what does Soyka think of the current Miami dining scene?
“I have only positive things to say about the Miami dining scene. Miami is becoming a very culinary city. Everyone wants to open a restaurant because they are a chef, or their grandmother had a great recipe, but it is very labor intensive. For me, it is just what I do. In my twilight years, I have decided to open a new restaurant and I think this will be it.”
Stay tuned for more info on Soyka’s swan song.