* Meatball Room (Boca Raton)
* Meatball Room (Boca Raton)
Jeff Eats isn’t sure on this…but I think- you guys know that I “reside” in Boca Raton…with that in mind, at least once or twice a week I’m in The Regency Court (3011 Yamato Road, Boca Raton) shopping center which is like 97 seconds from my home.
Anyway…over the past 10 years or so, four different restaurants have occupied a particular 6,000 square foot- space in the center. If you do the math—that means that on average, a joint lasted about 30 months in the spot—not exactly sure, but I think the last guy maybe was there 9 months and the guy before him 6 months, but who’s counting! The point of this “rambling”—the word longevity doesn’t come to Jeff Eats’ mind when he thinks of this particular spot and its past tenants. By the way, the first tenant and second tenant were “American Style” restaurants and the last two were Italian. To rough this out a drop more, the American Style joints had decent enough food/service and the Italian ones-had horrendous food/service. Jeff Eats can surmise why the Italian guys closed- but the “American Style” failures are open to conjecture—the best guess here, is that the rents were obscenely high, but that’s just an educated guess based on heresay.
Anyway…the other day Jeff Eats received an e-mail press release from an Italian restaurant named Meatball Room…who for right now- we’re gonna call “Guy #5” with a Grand Opening tentatively scheduled for the first week of November…that pr- piece is printed below for your review.
To make what has now turned into an absurd- long story shorter…this evening Jeff Eats just happened (wink wink!) to walk by the Meatball Room which is in the final stages of construction and watched from the “outside” the training of its new staff…Two of Meatball’s owners, John and Louie seeing Jeff Eats’ nose pressed against the window, invited me in…and I gotta tell you, that after a 32 minute conversation with them, I really-think that Meatball Room has a shot of being a huge success. The reason I “say” this…both John and Louie have “tons” of experience both in the front/back of the house–The menu they showed me, had a great selection of reasonably priced Italian stuff and the decor–which resembles an upscale sports-bar with loads of flat screen tvs (do they still make fat screen tvs?) and an out-door dining patio is perfect for the neighborhood-family crowd that populates the immediate area. Finally…Louie insisted that I try the wood fired margherita pizza that he was “testing” on the new-staff…not wanting to be insulting, Jeff Eats had two slices and I gotta tell you, that the wood fired pizza- thin/crisp/sweet sauce was absolutely dynamite. Can’t speak for anyone else, but I think that my buddies over at blog- Worst Pizza www.worstpizza.com are gonna love this pizza, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Now nothing for nothing…Jeff Eats knows that 2 slices of test pizza don’t make or for that matter-break a restaurant—who knows, the rest of the food could be garbage and the service stinks—or maybe the rent is a killer…What I do know, is that Jeff Eats has been around a ton of restaurants and the gut-call is that Louie and John (not sure if there are other partners or not) are gonna pull this one off.
As they say in Uganda—Only time will tell!
By the way, you can check menu/prices at www.meatballroom.com.
Take a look at the pr piece…and Jeff Eats will update you guys after eating a “real” meal there.
MEATBALL ROOM, HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED AUTHENTIC TUSCAN ITALIAN RESTAURANT, TO OPEN IN BOCA RATON MID-OCTOBER, Located in The Regency Court, adjacent to Woodfield Country Club, the restaurant features authentic fare, artisan cocktails, designer desserts and mu
By Simply the Best PR
BOCA RATON, Fla., Oct. 7, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — Meatball Room (www.meatballroom.com), the highly-anticipated, newly designed Tuscan Italian restaurant, announced today they have retained Simply the Best PR (www.simplythebestpublicrelations.com) as its Public Relations firm of record.
Meatball Room’s extensive menu is highlighted by 12 different meatballs made fresh daily, ranging from classic Italian, to brisket, salmon, Reuben, eggplant, turkey, chicken, vegetarian and much more.
Executive Chef Louie, who recently moved back to Florida from Las Vegas after serving as Executive Chef at The Sugar Factory American Brasserie, the highly-acclaimed 30,000 square foot restaurant at The Paris Hotel, is in charge of all aspects of the kitchen at Meatball Room. His authentic Tuscan-inspired signature dishes include homemade pastas and unique sauces, wood burning pizza oven, Pollo, Veal, Pesce, Melanzane, Ravioli and much more.
Meatball Room features:
•Lunch and dinner daily
•Wood burning pizza oven and open kitchen
•Indoor and outdoor patio seating
•Champagne ladies night
With the debut of Meatball Room, Boca Raton has a new choice for genuine Italian cuisine that is Tuscan at heart, but reflects modern tastes and lightness. A full bar with a carefully selected wine list, hand-made cocktails and a daily happy hour featuring bar bites and drink specials will be featured.
The Dessert Menu is extensive and is unlike any dessert menu seen in South Florida. Mouth-watering highlights include a wide array of homemade ice cream sundaes, cheesecakes, tiramisu, numerous milkshakes, innovative ice cream sandwiches, delicious cakes, a Whoopie Pie Tower, and so many other choices.
The restaurant is 5,500 square feet, seats 260 both inside and on the outside covered patio, features a wood burning pizza oven, open kitchen, LED lighting throughout, plasma televisions at the bars and private party room.
“Our publicity will include a series of grand opening events to introduce the restaurant as a place to enjoy genuinely delicious Italian dishes and exciting drinks in a comfortable, relaxed yet beautiful atmosphere,” states Kim Morgan, President of Simply the Best PR. “We are particularly excited to promote Executive Chef Louie to the media to showcase his extensive and impressive experience in Tuscan fare and exciting desserts.”
Meatball Room The Regency Court 3011 Yamato Road Boca Raton, FL 33434 www.meatballroom.com 561-409-4111
Contact: Kim Morgan Simply the Best Public Relations (954) 261-2149 firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2013/10/07/5280284/meatball-room-selects-simply-the.html#storylink=cpy
I work in the center. The owners have let us try the pizza and it was delicious. Wishing the owners the best of luck on their new venture.
jeff, that center definitely needs a good Italian restaurant. like you I live a few minutes away and ive always heard that the rents are a killer there. just have to wait and see how this one works out.
i wanted to open a business in regency and the landlord last year quoted me rents that were borderline criminal. i really can’t figure out how many of the stores stay in business if they are paying anything even close to the quote that i got.
I have lived in Boca Raton for over 35 years.
I am very familiar with the center where this new restaurant is opening.
Right now there are loads of vacancies in the center.
From what I have heard over the years, the rents are extremely high.
I have eaten in all of the restaurants that were in the spot that you mentioned.
The first was Zenith and the last was Damiamo. You are right, the Italian ones were horrid and the American ones were pretty good.
If Meatball has good food, reasonable prices and good service it has a real shot at making it IF the rent isn’t absurd.
The center is in a great location for a good pizzeria.
As you mentioned only time will tell. I really do hope Meatball makes it as it would be nice to have a good pizza joint to eat in and take out from a few minutes from my house.
I live in the Woodfield Country Club which is right next door to The Regency Court. Over the years we have had 4 Italian restaurants in the center. There was Vito’s and Campognola’s in one space and in the space that you mentioned Assiago and Damiamo. Assiago and Damiamo didn’t last long. Their food and service was bad news. Vito’s was around for a long time and had good food. I think the rent eventually got to it. Campognola’s took Vito’s spot and the food was terrible.
Right now there is no Italian restaurant in the center. I think that if Meatball has good food/service and prices & doesn’t have a bad rent it has a pretty good shot to make it. The center can definitely people wise support an Italian restaurant.
I thought Vito’s had very good food and great pizza. I don’t know why they didn’t last there
If they know how to run a “BOCA BUSINESS” they will do very well.
The rents at Regency are totally in line with premium Boca centers, Loopnet has listing for Regency $28-$35 plus CAM. The center is in a great location and this is standard Boca rent for this type of location. Check the rents @ University Commons- Mizner Park-Atlantic Ave(Delray).
In today’s Retail world, you have to run an above average business and do VOLUME.
$20,000. monthly rent in a premium location in Boca, surrounded by million dollar plus homes should not put a well run 5500 sq. ft restaurant out of business.
Good Luck Meatball Room…
Got to disagree with gary.
I know that shopping center and they have a load of vacancies. If the rent was so-fair as gary claims, they wouldn’t have empties. In addition, I see that the tenant mix is starting to go down quality wise. A karate place tells me that something is wrong.
If rent is basically 35 bucks a square foot on a 6,000 sq ft restaurant you are talking $23,000 a month or $276,000 a year. that’s way too high for a business that basically does one meal and thats dinner.
A well run restaurant at 5500 sq.ft in Boca should easily gross $3.5-$5. million annually, bringing the percentage of rent expense to as low as 5%.
As far as the empties, With the strength of the internet and the big discount stores, it’s a very difficult retail environment out there not just in Boca or this center.
The Marlins have a better chance of winning the World Series next year than any restaurant has of doing over $3 million a year in that shopping center.
Place seats 260 plus they have an indoor and outdoor bar. Hopefully-great food-great drinks (priced fairly) great service, could easily do $3. million.
I got it, so if the owners could only double the size of the place they could probably do close to $10 million a year. All they would have to do is turn each seat at least 8 times a day and have a few busy bars. Not a problem for a place that 95% of the people in Boca will never know exists
260 seats-1 seating-$30pp= just under $3miilion annually.
A good bar could add thousands more a night.
5k sq ft is a comfortable size space for a neighborhood restaurant, your comment about doubling the space to bring sales to 10 million is childish…
That’s a big assumption that they will fill every seat in the house everyday.
I give them credit for lasting as long as they did but having a restaurant that big in a Death Valley location was a deal breaker from day one. I don’t even know how long they have been closed because even though I live about 2 miles away I never see or think about the restaurants that have been in that crappy spot, for a place that big.
The karate place will be amazing! This company has been in business for 40 years and has numerous locations. They are putting a lot of money into this location! Tons of kids in the area…lots of business for them!
In addition….more family friendly businesses, more business for Meatball Room. Good luck! Can’t wait until BOTH businesses open!
Please, are you trying to tell us that this shopping center located on Yamato is the same as Mizner Park and Atlantic Avenue? Please!!!
Sure Gary, all they have to do is above average volume and it all will work out fine!
They shoulda called Gary as an investor, this flop aint lasting 30 months and Gary is full of something……
John, My point is the rents at Regency are substantially less than the other areas mentioned.
The center is not a Mizner Park or Atlantic Ave but it is better than many local neighborhood centers.
The center is Surrounded by affluent homes, country clubs and many locals who eat out 7 nights a week.
A good bar and great food and service will keep this place busy nightly.(not trendy not a fad but just great food and service)
There is a reason why Publix built on of their smallest stores there. And there is a reason why all the other previous restaurants failed. There is also a reason why a place like Nick’s New Haven Style Pizzeria, a place that really could do $3 million, would never consider a location like that
I spoke to John, the new owner, and he told me he is paying $15 sq. ft. That is half of what all the previous tenants were paying. Maybe the landlor finally got smart.
At 5,000sq. ft (that is what John told me). and $15 per foot I calculate the rent to be $75,000 per year or $6,250 per month. That does not include CAM.
I had Pizza there the other day and it was great and so was there bread. You can tell a good restaurantg by the bread they serve.
I wish John only the best.
Got their menu in the mail and the menu in addition to Italian food has loads of desserts. Looking forward to trying this one.
Regency definitely needs a good pizzeria. I have been reading Jeff like forever and if he thinks they have a shot I wouldn’t bet against Meatball Room.
Only time will tell if this one makes it.
I do know that the shopping center definitely could use a good pizzeria.
I’ve been to Tuscany 20 times—-never seen a “meatball” so the name is a Shame, it’s a Pizza joint with American-Italian food, God knows we have enough of them…… GOOD LUCK!!!!
Really looking forward to this one opening. We live right down the street and need a good solid reasonably priced Italian restaurant in the neighborhood.
I was recently invited to a private tasting at Meatball room and the test-menu was fantastic! The staff was super attentive, friendly and knowledgeable as well. By the time they are done finalizing the menu and training the staff, I can only imagine how great this place will be. I really enjoyed the decor and vibe inside and can’t wait to go back once it opens!
Walked by this place this morning. From the look of things, it looks almost ready to open. No question, a good pizza place is needed in the neighborhood. Wish the new owners a ton of luck and look forward to trying the restaurant out.
We can’t wait to try it out, we consider your tastebuds to be pretty accurate with pizza!
Personally I think that like others before it, Meatball Room is going to flop on its ass. The reason I say this is because they are building a restaurant that belongs in S Beach and not what a neighborhood center needs. They are Advertising that they will be open to 2am. Obviously the owners font know the market. Bet you anything they also got suckered into a huge rent.
I wouldn’t count them out just yet.
I’ve tried their baked clams and pizza and they were excellent.
Betcha a buck, they fail.
Just looked at the restaurant and they got it all wrong.
The setup is for upscale S. Beach types not neighborhood folks.
The owners will soon learn.
Jeff, I am going to a family & friends tonight. I’m in pr business, but really can’t help this restaurant one way or the other. The invite is purely professional courtesy. Will Jeff Eats be there?
Just had a chance to read your comments.
Jeff Eats will not be attending Family & Friends.
The reason, didn’t get invited.
That said, Jeff Eats will be attending a Media Event on 11/19/2013.
Let Jeff Eats know what you think…we’ll compare notes.
Thanks for reading…
ton of buzz on this one. Heard it opens tomorrow.
I ate there the other night with my wife. The place looks nice and has inside and outside seating (though I haven’t sat outside yet). There is also a pretty nice bar area with TVs.
I don’t know the first thing about the rent involved and all that, but the food we had was good, especially a stuffed pepper appetizer and a strawberry spinach salad, which was really delicious. For entrees, I had a chicken parm and she ordered linguini and clams, that I didn’t try, but she enjoyed. We also got to sample the pizza and I liked the style, which is kinda crispier than you normally find. Since the area is lacking a really good pizza place, we talked about adopting it for our take out nights, since the price seemed reasonable.
I’m certainly no restaurant expert, but if our evening was any indication, I imagine they’ll do well and I wish them luck.
The Ice cream at the Meatball Room was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was invited to a pre-opening try out. Everything was delicious and the restaurant looks great. I understand that it is now open to the public and I highly recommend that you try it out.
ate there over the weekend,
the owners better get their act together real fast.
Maybe it was too soon after opening day but my wife and I found Meatball’s meatballs and chicken scarp fair at best. Hopefully it gets better because the restaurant is great looking and located a few minutes from our house.
Ate at Meatball last night, veal parm and service not good.
Won’t be running back for a second go round.
Had dinner Saturday night, what a nice place to hang out. The baked clams were the best I ever had along with clams with linguini. Tried classic and spicy Italian meatballs and they were great. We also enjoyed the bolognese. The drinks were good and I liked the drink glasses. We will definitely be back there.
My wife and I and another couple ate there this evening. We sat outside and had a delicious meal and a terrific waitress. The restaurant looks great and its is a great addition to the shopping center. All four of us will definitely be back.
My wife and I enjoyed meeting you and your wife at the Meatball Room last night. As we mentioned we are big fans of your site and have over the years really enjoyed many of your picks.
Last night we had a plain pizza and lobster ravioli. Both were excellent,
Once again nice meeting you folks and we look forward to reading your thoughts on Meatball Room.
We thought about going to their “grand opening” tonight (11/20), but I nixed it. Go to their web site, it is just one page and no links to menu, etc. Is that how you launch a restaurant? You should have the web site and menu up at least a month before opening.
My wife, however, did stop in and pick up a menu- meh! I think I’d prefer Maggiano’s!
If this is how they launch a restaurant, I’m not so sure how well they run one. Rent aside, I give them 12 months or less. However, we will give them a shot in month or so, or whenever they get their full web site up!
Their website has no menu and without a menu or prices, I am not interested. The reviews on Yelp (which I typically don’t trust) are either in praise or blasting the place for poor service, poor presentation, and inedible food.
I work on Yamato and want to try this for lunch but I need to see a menu and prices before I go.
i ate there last night. the food and service were just fine. its a great looking place. since you work on yamato rd why dont you just walk in the restauarnt and get a paper menu to go. i took one home so i know they have them. you are really missing out on some really good food .
Jeff, Called the other day to make a reservation for two. Was told call back in two weeks as they booked solid. Give me a break!
I liked the food a lot and it is a nice place to eat and drink while having a good time they have out door seating that we liked and they have to bars that we love.
We will be back!
Great food nice out door seating available and 2 bars we loved the food the service was good and the place was very nice and clean.
We loved the drinks and TV’s!
We will be back for sure.
If the reviews on Yelp are any indication of the success of this restaurant, then I’m going to stick with my proven favorites.
Maggiano’s and any number of Italian rests. have better food at much better prices. The meatballs are not that great despite the fact that this is called the Meatball Room, not to mention a simple plate of meatballs will set you back $15 and up–ridiculous!
The only reason this joint is still in business is because of its two bars and a lot of Boca divorcees in their forties who go there as a hookup place