House of Mac food truck couldn’t make it as a South Beach restaurant

Chef to music royalty, Derrick Turton, opened his first free-standing restaurant on South Beach in December 2017. He closed it Feb. 21.

World Famous House of Mac was a hit with diners as a food truck, but as a restaurant, it suffered a quick Miami death.

The founder of the cult favorite, Derrick Turton (known as Chef Teach), said he parted ways with the partners on his South Beach restaurant Wednesday — but it had nothing to do with the food. He announced the news on House of Mac’s Facebook page.

“It was a good opportunity but our visions didn’t align,” Turton told the Miami Herald.

The owners had taken over the lease for the defunct Commonwealth whiskey bar and brought in Turton to set up a brick-and-mortar location for his Southern-style cuisine. For all of two months, since it opened Dec. 2, Turton had tried to recreate the dishes that brought his food truck a cult following: jerk salmon pasta, fried chicken and pumpkin spice waffles, and his signature World Famous Mac & Cheese, which earned long lines when he was parked at the Wynwood Yard.

But he said he couldn’t agree with his partners about matching the level of service he expects and provides at his food truck.

Had to make a tough decision today, whether I would stay in business on South Beach with a partner that doesn’t…

Posted by World Famous House of Mac on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Turton is a trained chef who was a longtime music manager for Pitbull and became close friends with several top hip hop artists. He cooked for many of them, including rapper Fat Joe and A$AP Rocky, who encouraged him to return to his cooking roots. After his father’s death in 2013, Turton took his friends’ advice and opened a food truck.

The food truck has continued to operate at the Wynwood Yard (56 NW 29th St., Miami). Turton said he will focus on the truck, but the experience and exposure of opening a stand-alone restaurant has whet his appetite to try again.

“I’m not giving up on the restaurant thing. We’ve got some things in the pipeline,” he said. “We have a strong following and that let us build a connection.”

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