Amir Ben Zion, the savvy and ambitious Israeli businessman who brought us Bond St. Sushi, Bardot and Gigi, intends his new South Beach hybrid, Cooper Avenue, to be a sort of modern Main Street — “a 21st century food service concept” to satisfy “the needs of the Mac generation,” as the website declares. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I like most of what I’ve eaten here so far.
There’s plenty more to look forward to. In addition to the restaurant, the nearly 10,000-square-foot space will house a deli, bakery with pizzas, late-night lounge, market and boutique, all packed neatly into the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center. The menu, printed on rough brown cardboard, is nicely limited to a couple of dozen items that appeal to a grown-up crowd, but it’s confusingly organized. Savvy waiters could clear things up, but the T-shirt clad cuties here seem clueless.
Ambience: The steely, industrial-gray warehouse space has floor-to-ceiling windows and a cool vibe with a soundtrack that’s sometimes cranked up a bit too high with a kitschy mix of ’80s hits and current dance music. Straight-back, metal chairs could use cushions, but otherwise the place is comfy as can be with its low lighting and well-spaced tables. Red market umbrellas shade outside seating.
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