Small Kingdoms: The Pubbelly Boys and Their Culinary Empire in Miami

Small Kingdoms: The Pubbelly Boys and Their Culinary Empire in Miami

We are well-aware that being an operator with just one concept isn’t easy. Then it often takes years of hard work, blood, sweat and tears to expand to a culinary empire with several concepts. 

Foodable’s Small Kingdoms series highlights the restaurant groups, whether they are emerging or well-established. with multiple successful concepts in one specific area.

The Pubbelly Group is based in Miami and has three founding partners. Often referred to as the Pubbelly Boys, Chef José Mendín, Andreas Schriner, and Sergio Navarro– have a Small Kingdom of restaurants in South Florida that foodies, especially those that love pork, can’t get enough of.

Pubbelly Noodle Bar, Pubbelly Sushi, Pawn Broker, PB Ysla, and even the Food Republic, a restaurant which is on Norwegian Cruise Lines­– are all operated by the Pubbelly Boys.

We decided to sit down with Chef José Mendín to learn what it takes to create multiple thriving concepts and what advice he has for inspiring restaurateurs.

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Small Kingdoms: Emerging Powerhouse Concepts Break Through

Small Kingdoms: Emerging Powerhouse Concepts Break Through

The restaurant industry is, of course, made up of a vast array of segments – from QSRs and fast food to fast casual and casual to fine dining. But, like microbrands, let’s not forget about the underlying pockets within these segments that truly color the American dining experience. Small Kingdoms are just that – a mainstay in the foodie hierarchy. Small Kingdoms are restaurant groups – some emerging, some well-established – that are notable in specific areas of the country. Lettuce Entertain You, for example, is synonymous with the Chicago area and Union Square Hospitality Group has been feeding NYC with new concepts for years. Small Kingdoms helm multiple concepts under their name, and though each concept may be similar in style and influence, they typically range from fine dining to upscale casual and even fast casual, making no two experiences the same.

“As operators start to seek out local connections with social, it only seems fitting that chefs and brands are developing a local or regional approach,” said Paul Barron, industry expert and Founder & CEO at Foodable and DigitalCoCo. “Customizing offerings and creating a local connection that is very strong with consumers, these Small Kingdoms have an interesting position over big brands.”

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