OTC Sets Sights On A Hipper Crowd

, Daily Business Review



Downtown Miami and the Brickell financial district are full of traditional power lunch spots like Capital Grille, Morton's and Perricone's, where the power elite have been congregating for decades.

Now some fresh and more casual eateries are springing up to appeal to the next generation of power lunchers. One such place is OTC, which opened a year ago at 1250 S. Miami Ave.

You will see young professionals in suits, but you won't see a white tablecloth or a steak on the lunch menu.

Designed by chef Jacob Anaya, formerly of Azul, the menu is modern American featuring inventive dishes like frito pie with chipotle chicken thigh, cheddar cheese and tomato-avocado salsa served atop a Frito's bag, craft beer fish and chips, lamb belly sliders and a truffle steak frite wrap. The menu changes frequently to keep it fresh.

The ambience, too, is anything but "stuffed shirt," with mason jar napkin holders atop the outdoor wooden tables, a chalkboard displaying the extensive craft beer selection, sleek wooden floors and brick walls.

Owner Michael Sullivan first looked around Wynwood when he decided to open his first Miami restaurant but ultimately decided on the Brickell corridor "for the crowd we wanted to go for," explained manager Vincent Cubillas.

"There are a lot of young professionals," he said. "It's a very up-and-coming neighborhood. With all these big buildings being completed, we wanted to be here."

The place started as an over-the-counter joint—hence the acronym—at first, with diners placing orders at the counter, getting numbers and picking up their food when called.

But then Anaya—who was recently asked to cook for the James Beard Foundation—came aboard, and it was clear the place was destined to be more. However, the name OTC stuck.

'Younger Vice'

Weekend brunches and happy hour are the busiest time at OTC (look for Miami Heat players Dwyane Wade and Shane Battier, two regulars), but power lunch is definitely on the upswing. On a recent Tuesday, I saw nearly a dozen lawyers, bankers and real estate developers, including four associates from Lydecker Diaz. One was Brett Schlacter, who lunches at OTC several times a week.

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