What was Kabob Shack in the strip center on 74 Street and Red Road is now Bollywood Masala.  The new name captures the excitement of the Indian film industry in Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, and “masala” is the Indian word for spice.

But to dispel the popular myth, Indian food is not overly spicey – unless you happen to like it that way. Owner Sandy Chawla will guide the uninitiated diner through the many culinary offerings at his eatery.

He offers an “Indian Food Simplified” menu: Step 1: Select the base (wrap or platter); Step 2: Choose your protein; Step 3: Pick fresh toppings; Step 4: Add your chutney.

At Bollywood Masala, you can find lamb, chicken or beef wraps or platters, curry rice, and a fabulous Mango Lassi, made with yogurt and mango.  The meat on a skewer is prepared in a clay oven, called a tandoor, and only Halal meats are served.

“Try dipping this in the yogurt/cilantro sauce with tamrin,” he says to a new patron.  If you like your dish with more spice, dipping cups are provided with mild, hot and extra sauces to meet your delight.

Says Chawla, “We are the first Indian fast-food establishment in Miami, offering fresh gourmet food at fast-food prices.  And since we opened in June, we’ve had an over 90% of repeat customers.”

Bollywood Masala is open 10a-10p Monday through Saturday, and 11a-4p on Sunday.


From working out of her home in 2005 to opening her retail space on Red Road in SOMI, Betsy Fantis focuses on quality and style.

Growing up in the area and attending Palmetto High School, Betsy Fantis enjoys the South Florida great outdoors.  Hence living outdoors became her focus, starting her Living Alfresco brand, furnishing residential patios and customizing outdoor spaces.  Family members are into interior design, Betsy however, loves being outside and “it’s just one big room” to decorate.

With a business background in marketing and sales, in 2010 she moved from being at home to a studio in the Bird Road art district off.  Betsy knew she wanted to be in SOMI, so when the opportunity arose, she leased space in the former Gardner’s Market on Red Road.  In mid-October, she opened her 800 sq.ft. outdoor living design studio, offering middle to high-end furnishing and accessories for retail, and engaging in on location design services for her clients.

Living Alfresco
7291 Red Road | 305.668.5700



When developer/builder Marcelo Fernandes of Oxford Universal acquired the property on US1 in 2006, little did he imagine that it would be some seven years later that the building would come up out of the ground. What has been an empty construction site eye-soar on the highway for many years, will soon become an iconic landmark building for many to admire. Designed by Mateu Architecture Design, the ground floor will have approximately 11,000 sq.ft. of retail and the 3rd and 4th floor will have 38,000 sq.ft. office space.   Interior space on the ground level is ready to accommodate a restaurant and full-service kitchen. The building will provide both underground and above ground parking, large arcades and open air spaces.

Architectural rendering

5996 SOMI is being constructed of recycled materials, aluminum siding, hi-efficiency lighting, solar power in the common space areas and complete recycling in the entire building.

Why seven years?  At first, construction was delayed on the project, which conformed to the “Hometown Plan” for two years as the developer wrestled with the City, residents and FDOT to satisfy neighbor concerns.   Then came the real estate downturn, and subsequently the lender defaulting on the loan.  For the past several years Marcelo has been negotiating with new lenders, while maintaining active city permits to keep the project
intact as designed.

The estimated market value of the project when completed next in May 2014 is $22million.


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Opening on September 25, a young couple from France have embarked on a mission: introduce the exclusive French pastry, renowned chocolates and gelato to eager consumers.

A rainbow of cheerful hues, a two-site size and a crisp-chewy texture await your palate. French macarons, should not be confused with the coconut macaroon.  The one “o” macaron uses finely ground almonds as its base and requires much more gentle handling in the kitchen.

Le Macaron’s sweet delights are made by Didier Saba in Sarasota.  Didier, with his wife Audrey, good friends of the Garrigou’s, have developed the brand.  Schooled at the internationally renowned culinary institute LeNôtre in Paris, Didier opened his first location in Sarasota one and one-half years ago.  South Miami is now the seventh in Florida, which are all independently owned.

Quentin and Agnes, have both worked in the restaurant business in France and the USA. They arrived five years ago to Sarasota, and since have focused on developing their own business.  After spending several months researching several markets and developing their business plan, they received an E-2 Visa.  Margarita Courtney of Margaux, familiar with Le Macaron in Sarasota, encouraged the couple to consider the newly available sub-divided space at Margaux.  Reminiscent of small towns in France and what they had experienced in Sarasota, the couple found South Miami to be a very appealing community.  “It’s a small town in a big city,” remarked Agnes.

Within their brightly painted patisserie, customers will encounter 16 flavors of macarons (including basil/white chocolate, Madagascar black vanilla, Sicilian pistachio, crème brulee, fresh mint/white chocolate), American chocolatier Norman Love’s selections (an exclusive product only at Le Macaron), 12 selections of gelato, baked on-premise croissants and pastries and espresso.

Come in, sit for a while and enjoy a fresh new experience here in SOMI, and take home a box of macarons.  LeMacaron is also available for catering.  And for those making the SOMIartwalk© this season, present your Artwalk map for a free gelato.
5811 Sunset Drive | 786.264.8638



As seen on their logo, Fitsico woman’s apparel is related to an EYE because “it’s your vision that defines your own beauty.”  This according to designer, model, owner Shirley Pineiro.

A native of Puerto Rico, Shirley is married to professional baseball player Joel Pineiro.  With their four children they live in Coconut Grove.  As a baseball wife, over the years she has followed him from Seattle to the Red Sox, to the Cardinals, to Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Baltimore.  Says Shirley, “I learned that we all compete in one way or another, but we all need to compete with ourselves instead…”

Referred to as “wonder woman” by friends, Shirley has managed travel with her husband’s career, four small children and now starting her own clothing line.  And she always moves around in high gear.

Coming from an Italian background, she loves to cook.  At first, Shirley was thinking of opening a restaurant, however, her grandparents were in the clothing business with four woman’s boutiques in Puerto Rico, and she thus opted to put her creative energies into fashion.  “Fitsico will capture every eye, no matter your size, no matter your shape.  Fitsico will put you in style!” exclaims a confident Shirley.  And at Fitsico, “our mission is to dress women at an affordable price.”

Fitsico is located in the Riviera Shopping Center on US1 directly north of The Shops at Sunset Place.  A planned opening is for mid-November, just in time for the holidays.

1560 South Dixie Hwy. #104 | fitsico.com


Capretto is sporting a new contemporary Parisian vibe.  Patty Fluxman who acquired Capretto in January 2008 felt it was the right time to present the new look and feel which represents the current trend in uncluttered retail design.  Capretto is one of the very few independent shoe salons left in the country that sell luxury brands.  As Patty notes, “the hanging lamps are very playful and give the whole space a very special and memorable identity. The warmth of the wood details and the off white base color adds to the impression of a very comfortable setting where our clients are made to feel special and relaxed. The clean architectural detailing in many ways represents the detailing and design of the high end products being sold… it is a match that works.”

5822 Sunset Drive | 305.661.7767



Renato Brivio is back at Blu pizzeria/By Best Friends.  Originally from the Lake Como region in Northern Italy, Renato has been the mainstay of Blu from 2004 until this Spring.  He spent the last few months in Europe and making the 500 mile Santiago Pilgrimage “The Way” starting in the Pyrennes and ending at De Compos Tela.  In the first week of August, he returned to his favorite activity: greeting customers at Blu and insuring good food and good customer service.

Ruby Bacardi is once again on the move in SOMI.  Owner of Lottus Florist, located on the east side of Sunset, she is moving to 56 Avenue to a beautifully renovated one story building.  Lottus has probably had at least three moves in South Miami over the past two decades: from where Starbucks is now located, to US1 where the old movie theatre was located (remember when?), to Sunset Drive.

A new contemporary Indian woman’s clothing store called Mogra is opening in the Blue Shops on Red Road where Miss Pepper was located.

Chez Enzo, Cucina Italiana, has opened on the corner of 59 Avenue and 73 Street, across from Winn Dixie.  With the name “chez” you just may expect to have some French flare to your Italian cooking – as the Italians were proud to claim they taught the French how to cook!

Originally opening as “Fresh Dash” on Sunset Drive and serving up healthy salads and foods, the space has taken a decidedly different bent as it’s been renamed“D’Dash” and serving up hookahs, beer and wine. And throw in a DJ too for a late night hours spot for young adults.


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