Rao’s from East Harlem opens in Miami Seaside, Florida

The famous Italian restaurant Rao's in East Harlem, New York, which has been operated by the Rao family for more than 100 years, will open a location in Miami Beach in 2023.

The famous Italian restaurant Rao’s in East Harlem, New York, which has been operated by the Rao family for more than 100 years, will open a location in Miami Beach in 2023.

A pair of famous New York restaurants are trading places in Miami Beach.

Rao’s, the 10-table, East Harlem Italian restaurant with more than 100 years of tradition and year-long waits for reservations, is taking over for Lure Fishbar inside the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, according to hotel spokesperson. A Rao’s representative confirmed the news.

This will be the third Rao’s location, after Harlem and Los Angeles. A Las Vegas location closed last fall after nearly 15 years. Rao’s Miami Beach is set to open in early 2023.

“We are still early on in terms of design and specifics. We do know that the restaurant will have a combination of the history of Rao’s coupled with a Miami Beach setting as well,” Loews spokeswoman Sarah Murov told the Miami Herald.

Rao’s (pronounced RAY-ohs) opened in New York in 1896 with a tradition of honoring its regular diners by letting them have “squatter’s rights” over a table as a reward for supporting them, Frank Pellegrino Jr. told Late Night host Jimmy Fallon in 2019. Rao’s has remained in the Pellegrino family — and has remained one of the hardest reservations in America to land.

Rao’s is known for hosting presidents including Bill Clinton and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese — and just as much for having to turn down celebrities like them for a table. But the Loews said to expect reservations at the Miami Beach spot to be much easier to get, with plenty more seating.

“We don’t know all the details, however yes it will be bigger,” Murov said.

Lure Fishbar, open in the Loews at 16th and Collins since 2013, remains open for the moment and a closing date hasn’t been announced.

This story was originally published August 10, 2022 12:24 PM.

Miami Herald food editor Carlos Frías is a two-time James Beard Award winner, including the 2022 Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award for engaging the community with his food writing. A Miami native, he’s also the author of the memoir “Take Me With You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba.”

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