Burt Rapoport to Open Apiero at Delray Marketplace

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At some point or another, most foodies fantasize about opening a restaurant of their own.

Few actually do it -- and even fewer actually succeed.

While South Florida has its share of restauranteurs, some are more recognizable than others.

Burt Rapoport is one of the most renowned restaurant owners in Palm Beach County. With Bogart's Bar & Grille, Deck 84, Henry's, E&J's Sandwich Shop, and Burt & Max's on his roster, he sits toward the top of the South Florida dining scene.

The already busy businessman is currently working on bringing yet another eatery to the growing Delray Marketplace.

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Titled Apiero, the new spot will be bringing healthy, affordable Mediterranean cuisine to west Delray Beach.

"Through traveling, eating out, and reading food magazines, I've been noticing the Mediterranean trend growing around the country," said Rapoport. "No one in South Florida is doing casual, Mediterranean food at reasonable prices."

Slated to begin construction in April or May -- Rapoport is hoping to open the restaurant in October -- the space is supposed to bring the feel of the Mediterranean seaside to the Marketplace. The sit-down restaurant will have sliding glass doors that will remain open for the most part, a comfortable patio with brightly colored flowers, indoor/outdoor bar, and a big brunch program.

"The whole concept is going to be like walking along a seaside with open air cafes," said Rapoport.

While the menu has not yet been developed, the idea is to serve light and clean fare. Expect to see items like kebabs, a wide selection of entree and starter salads, homemade pita bread from a wood-burning oven, house-made cheese, and simply grilled proteins.

The area in which the new eatery is being constructed lies just across from Burt & Max's. Although Rapoport didn't originally aim to open two spaces right near each-other, he decided it would be a wise business plan.

"There's some vacant space right near Burt & Max's intended for a restaurant, but it didn't have anything on it, just grass," said Rapoport. "Rather than have another place competing right there, I thought it would be better just to take it over myself."

Stay tuned for updates.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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