Oli's Fashion Cuisine of Wellington will be opening on Clematis St. in West Palm Beach on Friday, June 28.A second location for Wellington's Oli's Fashion Cuisine will be celebrating a grand opening today on Clematis St. in downtown West Palm Beach. The restaurant will be the fourth restaurant for owner Juan Gando, who opened the first Oli's -- one of three establishments dubbed "fashion cuisine" -- in Wellington in 2010.
Since then, the young restaurateur has had success, opening sister establishments including The Grille and The Seahorse, both less than a mile apart from Oli's -- and each other -- in the village of Wellington.
The latest, Oli's of West Palm Beach, will be opening in the former FUKU space sandwiched between Grease Burger Bar and Feelgood's Rock Bar. The downtown space, Gando tells Clean Plate Charlie, feels like a homecoming.
"It's closer to 'home,' to where I started [in the industry]," said Gando. "I spent a lot of time in Palm Beach at Cucina, where I was manager [for several years], and many of my favorite patrons are from that area."
Originally from Ecuador, Gando moved to the United States in 2003. His goal was to live the American Dream -- a goal that manifested when he became a successful restaurateur in South Florida's elite polo and equestrian community. Gando opened his first establishment with partner and Wellington native Dustin Parfitt, who will be continuing his post as executive chef for three of the four fashion-cuisine restaurants, including the new Oli's.
Gando and Parfitt met in early 2004 while working in the restaurant industry together on the island of Palm Beach. Gando said he decided to open Oli's in the downtown area because the concept "will be a good fit" for the West Palm Beach food scene, especially on Clematis St. With its upscale-casual ambiance and new American cuisine serving everything from skirt steak tacos to buttermilk batter fried chicken and lobster risotto, the menu covers breakfast, lunch and dinner with starters, flatbreads, entree-sized salads as well as pasta dishes and meat and seafood entrees.
Then, at night, the Wellington location transforms to a nightclub as the dance floor clears as a DJ sets the mood for the late-night dancing crowd. Gando said the same will happen at the new West Palm location, which was originally designed to transform from restaurant to after-hours club by its previous tenants.
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