WHAT’S NEW IN TOWN – February/March 2017


Osvaldo and son Hugo Pla.

Enter three generations of cigar lovers to the historic Dorn Building entrance to our SOMI shopping and dining district.  Welcome Pla Cigars & Wine Bar. Hugo J., 28, joins his father Osvaldo and grandfather, also Osvaldo, in the production, distribution and retail operation of Pla Cigars.

The location at 5910 South Dixie Hwy has been home to other tobacconists for well over a decade. For the cigar aficionado or the casual smoker, Hugo and his dad have renovated the two story building offering a smoking lounge on the ground level with a bar and beer taps and another lounge on the second floor with 130” projection screen to view sporting events. They offer an outstanding cigar, wine and craft beer selection.  With a background in the culinary arts Hugo is planning to offer a small tapas menu from around the world to complement the wine and the cigar.

Father and grandfather in the tobacco plant in Villa Gonzalez.

Osvaldo checking out the production for the #Plaselectos a full bodied puro Dominicano.

The Pla family comes from the Dominican Republic, and for the past several years have run a tobacco manufacturing plant in Villa Gonzalez, a municipio of the Santiago province in the Dominican Republic. The area produces some of the finest tobacco  in the D.R.

As popular cigar writer J. A. Shapira notes, “…cigars made in the Dominican have proven over recent years, to be equally comparable, if not sometimes superior, in quality, flavor and aroma, to any premium cigar hand rolled in Cuba.  …the cigars made in the Dominican could easily take a spot in the holy trinity of cigar exporters. Just as they do in Cuba, many of the premium cigars made in parts of the Dominican are hand-rolled and assembled by expert artisans who take pride in traditional old-world craftsmanship.”

“Come by, relax enjoy our cigar, wine and beer selection,” says Hugo.  In addition to their own Pla label, the cigar boutique carries popular brands such as Davidoff, Arturo Fuente, Padron, Partagas and Oliva among others.

A grand opening is being planned for Thursday evening  March 2.
Pla Cigars & Wine Bar is open 7 Days.
5910 South Dixie Hwy | 786.534.7696

Davide Castellano & Stephanie Cheung with the delivery car ready to go.

Now open on the east side of Red Road on Sunset Drive, FresHealthy is a concept born from the passion, commitment and vision of its owner Davide Castellano.

Simply put, heathy eating translates into a positive impact.  By eating healthy foods, people take a stand against bad choices and preventable ailments.

Davide Castellano was born in Sicily and later raised in Belgium.  He pursued a career as a behavorial educator, and worked in day care for 15 years.  Working with two-month-olds to twelve year olds, he observed that children with better diets, performed better.  Those sparked his desire to insure that healthy foods were not only available to each child, but were affordable for families.

Fast forward to 2014 when he went to New York to explore the opportunity to create a model in developing a new culture for appreciation of healthy eating.
In July 2016 he visited Miami for the first time, and realized this would be his starting point.

At FresHealthy, “we want to provide everyone with a new form of kitchen, based on natural and organic food.”  The kitchen unites Brazilian, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisines.  The food is gluten free, lactose free, no sugar.

In this Miami adventure, David is joined by Stephanie Cheung, who serves as manager.  She has 15 years in the food industry spent mostly in New York. The chef, Alexis Durruthy, is a graduate in Culinary Arts of Le Cordon Bleu.
He notes that “Freshealthy teaches awareness and good nutritional practices.”  Education is an important aspect of FresHealthy.  Cooking demonstrations for parents and children are planned.  The restaurant’s role is to teach and educate the consumer.

So Davide Castallano has embarked at changing behaviors one healthy meal at a time.  He desire is to address community health needs and improve the social environment.

FresHealthy is open for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Monday-Friday from 7:30 am to 10:00pm, Saturday from 8:30am to 10:00pm and Sunday from 8:30am to 4:00pm, delivery & take-out available as well.

1573 Sunset Drive Miami |  786.773.2394

When you operate a fashionable and successful swim and resort wear brand and you want to expand to provide new selected products to your existing clientele and others, you open up “next door.” And that just what Splash owner Bridget Reyes did this fall.

SPLASH grew from a small island boutique in Bimini offering uniquely curated vacation wear, it was only a matter of time before the brand grew. With the success of the Bimini location and the world wide loyal customers, Bridget realized the momentum to open another store front in South Miami as well as an online store, ShopSplash.com.

Splash interior

Some “sister store” accessories on display.

The curated selection expanded just as quickly as the business grew and Splash is one of the top local boutiques to offer everything from bikinis to high end gowns.

Reyes’ mission is to become a one stop destination for the stylish female looking for something that highlights her personality. And what’s a complete outfit without shoes and accessories?

So when space became available next to Splash on Red Road, an opening was made to combine the unique aspects of both businesses.

At “Next Door” customers will fine an eclectic, curated collection of artwork, books, shoes and accessories.  Opened late in 2016, the “sister-store” to Splash is managed by Ivette Lopez, who has been with Splash since it opened four years ago.  The staff of five provide customers with a well rounded selection of merchandise and supreme customer service Ivette notes that “we are happy to consider ourselves a destination rather than just a boutique.”

Pictured inside the spacious Next Door gallery are: sales associate Veronica Ramallo, both stores manager, Ivette Lopez; and e-commerce manager Amanda Rodriguez.

7297 SW 57 Avenue | 305.662.9883

Michael Gorman, partner; Mary Smith, manager; Dr. Jason Levine, owner.

Dr. Jason Levine and business partner Michael Gorman have recently opened their newest Stretch Zone location here in South Miami on Red Road.

Levine grew up in Miami; he is a graduate of Palmetto High School, and received his B.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Arizona, In 1999 he received his license to practice and opened his first clinic in Palmetto Bay in 2000.

He brought the concept of the benefits of stretching to the retail market and now has six locations in Pinecrest, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Tropical Park (Bird Road), Brickell and South Miami.

“Stretching is better than massage for health reasons” says Levine.  Stretching reduces stiffness and inflammation, relieves pain and soreness, improves flexibility, reduces stress and prevents injury, improves circulation and enhances physical and athletic skills.

The practice is unique and effective because it focuses on the nervous system’s control of muscle tension via the stretch reflex. Practitioners have a background in body work and receive additional training and certification.

Photo: StretchMiami.com

7308 SW 57 Avenue | 305.235.1999


EAST Thai & Noodles by Origin is opening where The MexZican Gourmet was located in the historic Dorn Brothers building (1926) on the corner of US1 and Sunset Drive.  Origin was a popular favorite in town some few years ago…  Restless Soul, an athleisure boutique located at 5828 Sunset Drive is building out its interior spaces and hiring personnel…  and Esthesio Clinic from Paris is opening on Red Road where Jean Claude Beguine was located, offering facial and body treatments, make-up and hair styling.  Stay tuned….



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