by The Editors | March 21, 2024

12 New Openings To Explore Across Florida This Spring

Let loose at an LGBTQ+ bar, roll a strike at an upscale bowling club, dine on Central and Latin American cuisine and more throughout the Sunshine State this spring.



Photography by Melissa Marcarelli.

Lotus Noodle Bar

St. Augustine

Chef Barry Honan cooked in the fabled kitchen of 3-Star-Michelin restaurant Le Bernardin, but it was his off-shift meals that inspired St. Augustine’s hottest new restaurant: Lotus Noodle Bar. Classically trained in French technique, Honan honed his skills under Eric Ripert, while slurping his way through the noodle bars of New York City, finding comfort in the warm bowls and even staging at ramen restaurants to learn how to build depth in the broth. Now he’s brought that love of Japanese flavor grounded in French technique to Lotus where dishes like Garlic Noodle Mazemen marry local blue crab with umami-rich koji-butter in a visually stunning bowl of steaming broth inspired by autumn in Japan. A thoughtful selection of Japanese beer, global wines and sake pair with the inventive menu.

Hardwick’s Bar was opened inside of a historic building designed by Taylor Hardwick. Photography by Eric Strandberg.

Hardwick’s Bar


For the first time in 20 years, a welcoming LGBTQ+ bar opened its doors on East Adams Street. Operator Tod Knudson, business partner Elias Hionides and general manager Tim Hoal fell in love with the Mediterranean Revival-style architecture of the 1926 historic building. Inside Hardwick’s Bar, named after beloved North Florida architect Taylor Hardwick, bold colors mingle with a stunning solid ash bar, splashes of pop art and a lineup of regional DJs spinning dance-floor bops to create a sophisticated yet spunky space. The beauty and execution of classic cocktails like the Negroni crafted with Hardshore gin, Campari and Dolin Rouge vermouth are a point of pride. Hardwick’s Hotspot Heroines, their wildly entertaining drag show, happens every Thursday night featuring performers from Hamburger Mary’s. A commitment to fostering community makes this a must-do on the First Coast.

Isola Home is located in a historic Victorian-era home near downtown Fernandina Beach. Photography courtesy of Isola Home.

Isola Home

Fernandina Beach

Between the sumptuous hand-stitched, soft cotton chambray quilts by John Robshaw Textiles, the aromatic scents from Erbario Toscano in Italy, the coastal bits and bobs by Amanda Lindroth and so much more, the Isola Home showroom brims with elevated home decor and gifts. Located in a beautifully renovated Victorian home in Fernandina Beach’s downtown historic district, founder Lori Lecker offers interior design services, gifts, lighting, tableware, art, furniture, home accessories, candles, fragrances and more. Lecker partners with the Bridge e-commerce family to offer a free, one-of-a-kind registry for weddings, birthdays, Mother’s Day, bridal showers and baby showers—they make it easy to shop by designer, department, price or occasion to ensure you’ll find the perfect present.

Photography courtesy of Amicus Brewing Ventures.

Amicus Brewing Ventures


Their journey to craft brewing began on hiking trails, in state parks, pitching tents in campgrounds, building sandcastles on the beach and gathering together at the breweries connecting those places. Four families recently banded together to open Tallahassee’s latest craft beer establishment, Amicus Brewing, in the historic Old City Waterworks Building. “One of our favorite pastimes while trekking the families around was visiting the local breweries in the area. It’s a time of joy to relax in great conversation with your friends over beer while your kids can explore a safe space,” says co-owner Shaun York. The family-friendly taproom pours a variety of craft beers, like the Cascades American pale ale and the Sermon on the Stout coffee-based brew, plus a curated wine list and nonalcoholic beverages to pair with the rotating food trucks on site most evenings.


Bowl your best at Orlando’s Primrose Lanes, a restaurant and bowling alley. Photography courtesy of Primrose Lanes.

Primrose Lanes


Situated in Orlando’s Milk District, Primrose Lanes Restaurant & Bowling Club opened last August. Led by brothers Romi, Keith and Daniel Mawardi, the team converted the space into a restaurant, bowling club and sports bar. In an homage to the historic 1959 Colonial Lanes bowling alley that once stood in its place, salvaged materials from the original lanes adorn the bar, walls and tabletops. Only eight lanes remain, but with the chef-driven menu featuring elevated American classics like their viral house-made hot dog and an atmosphere that features a sleek midcentury design, you don’t have to sacrifice luxury for a night of fun at Primrose. Slide into a booth overlooking the lanes and sip on a French bowler tequila cocktail or keep things classic with a root beer float. Perfect for families or groups of friends, grab a bite at the restaurant, stick around for happy hour and aim for a strike on the lanes.



Led by Michelin-starred chef Freddy Money, Nami infuses traditional Japanese cuisine with European favorites to create a genre-bending, taste bud-tantalizing menu of hybrid dishes like tuna pizza with anchovy aioli and lobster donuts, miniature sweet dough sandwiches with lobster salad in the middle. Located on the west side of the Lake Nona Wave Hotel, the funky yet refined eatery offers a late-night menu of childlike indulgences such as their Nami nuggets—a new take on chicken nuggets with kimchi—and cucumber pickles with crispy chili. End the night by indulging in dessert with a colorful hand-crafted cocktail, such as the Lilac, a Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin-based drink with sake, lychee and ginger. For a sweet treat you can crack open, order the decadent golden rocher, a gold-flaked hazelnut chocolate sesame orb with vanilla ice cream inside.

Flûtes Champagne Bar was inspired by Madame Clicquot. Photography by Hector “Gadget” Negron.

Flûtes Champagne Bar

Winter Park

After Alexie Fonseca closed her biggest real estate deal to date, she wanted to clink glasses of her favorite Champagne, Inspiration 1818 Brut, with her besties in a celebratory locale. Unfortunately, Fonseca’s hunt for a glittery Champagne bar fell flat. Fast forward to December 2023, and the bubbly is flowing at Flûtes Champagne Bar, Winter Park’s latest establishment. As one of the only designated Champagne bars in the state, every seat is taken on the weekends to sip sparkling whites and reds, prosecco and cava while listening to local saxophonists, violinists and DJs. Inspired by Madame Clicquot, one of the first female entrepreneurs and founder of the legendary Champagne, Veuve Clicquot, Flûtes is dripping in gold, sparkles and female empowerment. Channel the glam of Old Hollywood stars in this gilded, art deco lounge. When there’s something to celebrate, it’s simply sweeter at Flûtes.

Order a Kojo’s rainbow roll. Photography courtesy of Union New American.

Union New American


Home is where the hearth is, according to restaurant group Next Level Brands’s latest establishment. Centering the menu around their live-fire hearth, Union New American offers a diverse range of dishes, such as the sea bass satay with miso glaze and the smoked eggplant enchilada. The gorgeous two-story restaurant seats up to 180 people and includes an additional intimate dining room and outdoor area. White chaise lounges beckon Sunday brunchers to relax in the porch’s airy ambiance with hanging florals, while the warm hearth and light wood paneling invites guests indoors. Order the wildly popular Parker House milk bread, served with cultured butter and honey that melts softly in your mouth, or the hearth roasted platter of king crab legs, oysters, shrimp, clams and lobster for the entire table. Top it all off by toasting with Union’s twist on the tropic thunder, a tequila-based cocktail with ancho chilies, pineapple and a blue salted rim.


Rum Room’s cuisine draws on Miami’s Haitian, Latin and Central American influences. Photography courtesy of Rum Room.

Rum Room

Miami Beach

Don’t let the name fool you: Rum Room is about more than just imbibing, it’s about creating a vibrant community steeped in local history. Opened in the spring of 2023, Rum Room takes residence inside the historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse on the Miami Beach Convention Center campus. The 80-seat restaurant hearkens to 1920s Florida, where tropical style was rampant and a desire to impress was at the forefront. Led by culinary veteran Ismael Lasalle, Rum Room’s upscale menu along with its extensive rum list draws on Florida’s history and Miami’s Haitian, Latin and Central American influences. “I’m honored to bring my culinary passions to such a historic place. As one of the oldest public buildings on Miami Beach, Rum Room holds a very special spot in my heart,” says Lasalle. “While I have an opportunity to flex my creative muscles for large-scale events at the convention center, at Rum Room, the approach is more intimate. This is where I meld my Puerto Rican culture with a melting pot of inspirations that are authentically Miami.”

Holy Moly Ice Cream

Cape Coral

Like most ideas, it started as a joke. When Dario Fontanella invented spaghetti ice cream in the 1960s, the Italian-German inventor only wanted to delight his kids. Little did he know that his stringy frozen treat would become a global hit. Holy Moly Ice Cream founders Stefan and Sonja Raab have taken the original idea and transplanted it to Cape Coral, where the German natives opened their storefront off Del Prado Boulevard last summer. Through the open kitchen, dessert lovers can witness Holy Moly’s spaghetti ice cream—which is more gelato than ice cream—come to life. Popular menu items include the chocolaty Choco Loco and the Classic, with vanilla gelato and homemade strawberry sauce. Oh, how sweet it is!

Try the spiny lobster corn dogs from The House. Photography courtesy of The House.

The House

West Palm Beach

Equal parts chill and chic, The House is everything the traditional golf course restaurant isn’t. Opened in October 2023, this eatery anchors the newly opened 18-hole golf course called The Park, a fresh face in the typically staid country club culture. The menu features many inventive dishes such as the spiny lobster corn dog and the clam and chorizo pizza. Led by West Palm Beach native Jason Van Bomel, whose pedigree includes the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach, creating The House has been a labor of love: “The House will be a special spot, not only for The Park’s golfers but also the greater community that appreciates a quality hospitality experience in a relaxed atmosphere.”

Shop alongside a shopping attendant at Penelope T’s Jacksonville, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale locations. Photography by Kelly Martucci.

Penelope T

Fort Lauderdale

Penelope T owners Manne White and Nickie Smith dream in living color … and premium denim and sequins. The friends and fashion lovers are bringing their collection of curated contemporary styles to Fort Lauderdale’s River Market plaza, where the duo will open their third boutique this spring. Designed with texture, feminine curves and vintage-inspired accents, the new store will have as much personality as the owners. “One of our favorite decor purchases so far is a giant brass palm tree from the ’60s,” Smith says. Featuring apparel and accessories from brands such as Simkhai, Saylor and Xirena, Penelope T’s founders are infusing the same concept that has garnered a loyal following at their Jacksonville and Tampa locations into their South Florida store: experiential shopping. Shop with attendants who become friends—and won’t allow you to walk out without looking spectacular.