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Chinese restaurant to replace Costa in Palm Beach

Posted On: 07-11-2018

A Chinese restaurant is coming to Palm Beach.

On Wednesday, the Town Council unanimously approved a proposal for Hai House, which will replace the empty space at 150 Worth Avenue operated by Costa Palm Beach, which closed in April, 15 months after it opened.

Manuel Bornia, a managing partner of Hai House, said no formal opening date has been set but hopes to open by October or November.

Hai House will serve a variety of Chinese cuisine, including Mandarin and Cantonese style. The restaurant will keep the same number of seats as Costa — 151 inside and 14 outdoors — and will be the only restaurant on the island devoted to primarily serving Chinese food. Echo at The Breakers is pan-Asian and serves sushi as does Imoto, a Japanese and Asian eatery at Buccan.

Bornia, who also operates GoCravy.com, a food-delivery service serving metro West Palm Beach and Palm Beach, said he wanted to bring Chinese cuisine to the island after being swamped with requests by his delivery service customers.

“We have over 2,000 requests per month for Chinese food that go unfulfilled,” Bornia said. “There’s no landmark Chinese restaurant in town … and so when we saw (this opportunity), we jumped at it.”

Goodbye Grub: Costa restaurant closes doors in Palm Beach Goodbye Grub: Costa restaurant closes doors in Palm Beach

Council members and town staff welcomed the idea of a Chinese eatery on the island but stressed to Bornia and Ryan Zemel, Hai House’s chief operating officer, that the restaurant must be “town serving” — it should be attracting residents.

“This will be the only type of restaurant of this cuisine in town,” Zoning Administrator Paul Castro said, “and I’m assuming it will be quite popular.”

Zemel, who was previously the manager for Imoto and Buccan, assured the council that the restaurant will be town-serving and will mold its menu to accommodate customers.

“There’s gonna be a little bit for everybody,” Zemel said.

The second-floor space in the Esplanade once housed GiGi’s Tap and Table, Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen and Trevini Ristorante. It was to be the home of a New York concept originally called Cooklyn, but after months of renovation, that restaurant never opened. The following year, in 2017, Costa debuted instead. 

 

 

Source: Ian Cohen, July 11, 2018, Palm Beach Daily News

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