The restaurants were a package deal owned and founded by Philadelphia James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Solomonov and his business partner, Steve Cook, an award-winning restaurateur himself. Each spot had been a rousing success in the City of Brotherly Love, but their tenure in Miami was dogged by constant construction in front of their Northwest 24thStreet locations, the pair wrote in a statement.
Seven months of poor foot traffic and cars diverted away from their roadside shops were more than they could stand, “for now,” they wrote.
“The construction that has surrounded us for the last six months was simply too much to bear,” they wrote. “It’s been an honor, Miami. You welcomed us into your community with open arms and gave us the privilege to serve you. We hope to serve you again when the dust settles.
“Until we meet again, thank you and toda raba [thank you very much].”
The pair have not said if or where the restaurants could reopen.
Dizengoff and Federal Donuts opened last summer with a proven model and plenty of momentum.
Solomonov had shown there was an appetite for his updated Israeli cuisine after he won his fifth James Beard Award — the Oscars of the food world — at his upscale Philadelphia restaurant Zahav. He and Cook brought that cuisine to the masses in 2014 with their first Dizengoff, named for the popular Tel Aviv street where hummus stands are as common as hot dog vendors in New York City.
Their wide-spread success was built on the pair’s completely different concept, Federal Donuts, a fried chicken and doughnut shack they founded as a tasty indulgence in 2011. Solomonov created cake doughnuts with layered flavors such as strawberry-lavender, hot cocoa and churro. And they paired them with double-fried Korean fried chicken as a way to appeal to a lunch crowd.
Federal Donuts became a phenomenon, and the pair opened six locations, all in Philadelphia. They even collaborated on a cookbook, “Federal Donuts: The (partially) true spectacular story,” published last fall.
Miami was their first venture outside their city. But their bet on red-hot Wynwood proved the remaking of the neighborhood remains a block-by-block gamble.