Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Olivier Martinez takes his shot at SoBe food stardom with Villa Azur

Olivier Martinez takes his shot at SoBe food stardom with Villa Azur


David Livingston / Getty Images


Tall order for French actor Olivier Martinez, aka Halle Berry’s fiancé, as he opens his very own Miami Beach restaurant.
Martinez, who starred in Unfaithful and Blood and Chocolate, is scheduled to be at Villa Azur on 23rd Street for the VIP grand opening Thursday night. He becomes the latest in a long list of celebrities who have tried their hands at the hospitality business here.
Most have failed.
Remember Marisa Tomei? She owned a place on Lincoln Road called Suva. The My Cousin Vinny Oscar winner had her say in the dishes on the menu. Lasted about a year.
How about Cameron Diaz’s Asian fusion eatery, Bambu, also on Lincoln? The actress opened it because she hadn’t been able to find a good Asian restaurant while doing There’s Something About Mary in Miami.
It was gone in less than 18 months.
Other tombstones in the celeb-eatery cemetery: Ricky Martin’s Casa Salsa on Ocean Drive, we hardly knew ya; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels star Michael Caine’ s South Beach Brasserie, the bangers and mash felled it.
More recently, Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade had the D-Wade’s chain grow three strong in Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca. It all ended three months later in a legal disaster.
“For celebrities, a restaurant is just an investment,” said restaurant broker Tom Prakas, who negotiated leases for D-Wade’s and Danny DeVito’s DeVito South Beach, shuttered after two years. “They show up a couple times a year then that’s it. A restaurant, however, is about the food and the service.
“If those aren’t any good, no one’s going back.”
That’s not to say, Prakas added, that a celebrity’s restaurant is a guarantee for bad food or crummy service.
Look at Nobu, Meet The Parents actor Robert DeNiro’s sushi joint in Miami Beach’s Shore Club. It’ll soon be 10 years. Gloria Estefan’s Bongos? Going on 16 years.
What about Martinez’s southern French cuisine emporium? The Art Deco décor sure is breathtaking.
“Halle Berry showing up would help for a short time,” Prakas said. “But then, you also got to eat. There are only so many times you want to see Halle Berry.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/08/2682539/olivier-martinez-takes-his-shot.html#storylink=cpy

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