July 18, 2024


Food, couldn't ask for more.

Restaurant or night club? Marino’s owner wants Cocoa restaurant to be known for its food

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Editor’s take note: Marino’s owner Marino Biondini mentioned the following-several hours part of his institution is no extended termed El Secreto. This story was edited April 1, 2022, to replicate that.

Marino Biondini wants people to go to Marino’s, his Cocoa Village restaurant that opened in January, for its very good Italian food items and friendly ambiance.

Chef Joel Lyons has made a menu of Italian favorites, with scratch-made sauces and fresh pasta. Craft cocktails, beer and wine are served in the 1900s bank setting up, which is casually exquisite and welcoming with its soaring ceilings and next-flooring gallery.

What Biondini won’t want is for what took place in the early morning hours of March 12 to shape possible diners’ opinion of the cafe.

Late evening on Fridays and Saturdays, Marino’s stays open right until 2 a.m.

In mid-March, a fight started out in the club. Biondini said his security crew pushed these concerned outside the house and named Cocoa law enforcement. The scuffle ongoing in a nearby parking great deal. Photographs had been fired. A 24-12 months-previous man was hurt and a 25-yr-outdated guy was arrested.

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Biondini claimed he doesn’t want to appeal to difficulty makers. He has a 4-individual protection staff viewing more than the group, and is taking into consideration utilizing a dress code and metallic detectors as a way to discourage future troubles.

The club delivers in people today, primarily in their 20s and early 30s, for dancing.

“We have a younger crowd who want to arrive have a great time,” he claimed.

Chef Joel Lyons and owner Marino Biondini hope diners will come try the fresh Italian food at Marino's in Cocoa Village.

Chef Joel Lyons and proprietor Marino Biondini hope diners will arrive consider the clean Italian meals at Marino’s in Cocoa Village.

The night club pays the bills even though the cafe will get its footing, Biondini explained, and it’s the cafe he wishes to promote.

“To me, this is my life,” Biondini said. “If this won’t work, I have to get started about.”

This is Biondini’s 3rd attempt at building a cafe work in a house on Harrison Avenue that has been dwelling to a athletics bar, a Korean barbecue cafe and a fantastic-dining institution.

He opened El Bodegon, a white-tablecloth eatery serving Spanish and Basque food items, in 2017, owning owned a restaurant by the similar name for 6 many years in Winter season Park. Biondini mentioned he attained a pursuing of persons who appreciated the paella and tapas this kind of as coctel de camarones con salsa de queso (shrimp served with a savory queso) and empanada.

El Bodegon fell sufferer to COVID-19, but Biondini was not deterred. In August 2020, he assisted open up Tapa n Tacos, a additional casual restaurant and bar. He saved some of the Spanish favorites, but included craft cocktails and a lot less high-priced Mexican dishes to the menu.

El Secreto, the weekend night club, opened at the very same time.

Biondini experienced a slipping out with a business enterprise lover and left Tapa n Tacos in September 2021. He returned to the residence in January, and rebranded the cafe as Marino’s.

He experienced been the facial area of El Bodegon and Tapa n Tacos, greeting visitors in the dining home and normally getting and delivering orders. Mates instructed him: “Put your name on it so they know it is really you.”

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Marino’s has taken on a distinctly Italian taste, thanks to Lyons, who put in time at Genna’s Pizza and Amici’s in Melbourne.

“Joel created a menu that is small, fresh new and simple,” Biondini stated. “He arrives out and talks to the attendees, cooks anything just for them.”

“This is correct up my alley,” Lyons claimed. “I’ve been cooking Italian food for 35 several years.”

A handful of of the Spanish favorites stay, which includes the shrimp with queso and pulpo conchorizo, smoked octopus with chorizo and potatoes. Paella will be available sometimes as a unique.

Biondini also claimed he is continuing to make some of the cocktails he learned from Ben Jewel, who assisted open Tapa n Tacos.

“We are going to have refreshing margaritas on tap,” Biondini said. “Appear for the foodstuff, continue to be for the beverages.”

Wanda Shultz of Cocoa reported she has supported Biondini because he came to the place. He is an ambitious young male, she mentioned, and she’s rooting for him to do well. She recently visited Marino’s and was delighted with the expertise.

“The foods was wonderful, beverages were being ideal,” she said. “His new chef is on point.”

Chef Joel Lyons makes the sauces and meatballs fresh, in-house, at Marino's in Cocoa Village.

Chef Joel Lyons helps make the sauces and meatballs clean, in-house, at Marino’s in Cocoa Village.

Biondini is determined to make Marino’s get the job done. When he opened El Bodegon, it was a family members business, with his mother, his wife and his sister-in-legislation. His mother passed absent, his brother and sister-in-legislation moved to St. Augustine. Then COVID hit.

“I was forced to action back and permit an individual else make the selections,” he reported.

Now he is concentrating on getting ready contemporary meals and fresh cocktails, and training a crew that will acquire superior care of prospects. The restaurant is open five days a week for dinner only, which means he and the personnel get two days off and a probability at a typical lifestyle.

“I feel like I could not wander away from this,” he said. “I am not throwing in the towel.”

Marino’s is at 114 Harrison St., Cocoa Village. Hrs are 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The evening club is open until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Suzy Fleming Leonard is a features journalist with extra than three a long time of practical experience. Reach her at sleonard@floridatoday.com. Locate on Facebook: @SuzyFlemingLeonard or on Instagram: @SuzyLeonard

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This article originally appeared on Florida Currently: Following capturing, Marino’s in Cocoa is beefing up stability and menu