Perhaps you've driven past the eye-catching, white stucco building off Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach — the one with "EmKo" stamped in bold black letters at the top — and wondered to yourself: "What is that place?"
The newly renovated, three-story historic building was once home to Ragtops Antique Motorcar Museum but today is known simply as EmKo, an art gallery, showroom, and restaurant that recently opened at the border of the city's historic Flamingo Park and El Cid neighborhoods.
The EmKo compound, with its well-manicured outdoor sculpture garden, offers two distinct themes. The first is the Artist Independent Republic, a gallery that will feature fashion design, music, poetry, photography, sculptors, and art through rotating installations and special events. The second is the Culinary Art Gallery, a concept that includes a restaurant, coffee shop, organic juice bar, retail gourmet market, and bakery.
According to EmKo creator, owner, and artist Leo Koel, the 6,000-square-foot, multidisciplinary art space has been three years in the making and will provide a platform for undiscovered artists to showcase their talent.
A large part of EmKo revolves around its culinary studio, which features several unique settings within the main building. That includes Restaurant Jereve — French for "I dream" — a restaurant and lounge space offering modern American cuisine, craft cocktails, and boutique wines with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients.
Jereve is helmed by executive chef Nick Martinkovic, a young chef who last cooked for St. Louis' Central Table Food Hall and the members-only restaurant Blood & Sand. He can be seen working inside the restaurant's glass-encased open kitchen, a state-of-the-art facility that will also offer cooking demonstrations, pop-up guest chef dinners, and a variety of culinary events.
The same building that houses Jereve is also where you'll find two additional concepts: Untitled Coffee & Juice Bar and the Market, separate venues where guests can order organic juices and coffee, enjoy grab-and-go food and drink options for breakfast and lunch, or find small-batch artisan products sourced from around the country.
EmKo will also have an on-premise bakery known as the Back Alley Bakery — or BAB, for short — located in a separate building across a small alleyway from the main building. BAB will offer a variety of house-made baked goods, from artisanal breads to classic European pastries and nostalgic American desserts. BAB will also serve as a gathering place for local residents and visitors under the building's covered outdoor patio or as carryout.
Jereve is open for dinner service from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Untitled Juice Bar and The Market are open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with lunch service from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also visit EmKo for its social happy hour, held Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., during which time guests can receive complimentary snacks and half-priced bottles of wine or wine by the glass.
EmKo is located at 2119 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach. Call 561-227-3511, or visit emkopb.com
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.