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New Dining in Historic Hotel

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Posted: Saturday, November 11, 2017 10:25 am | Updated: 12:08 pm, Mon Nov 13, 2017.

Martini and paella lovers, take heart. Actually, there’s much more to enjoy on the menu of the City Hall Bistro and Martini Bar recently opened in the historic Hotel Redland. If you’ve driven past lately, you will have noticed tables, chairs, hanging plants, and lights on the signature wraparound porch of the 1904 building.

The original, multi-purpose Homestead Inn was caught up in the blaze of the infamous 1913 fire and was rebuilt specifically to be a hotel with a new name of Hotel Evans. J.W. English, owner of the Seminole Theatre, purchased it in 1934 and soon remodeled, modernized, and changed the name to Hotel Redland.

Sadly, as time passed the hotel fell victim to economic downturns as often happens and damage from Hurricane Andrew led to talk of condemning and demolishing it. In the 1990s new owners stepped in to preserve its history with a complete renovation while still maintaining historical architectural accuracy. Although it has served continuously as a small hotel since then, the restaurant has been through several hands. Chef Enrique Paniagua is the man who plans to make the restaurant and lounge showpieces. “This is a wonderful building and good things are happening in Homestead. We are going to be a part of that.”

Paniagua, originally from the Boston culinary scene, has traveled around the country, to Asia, Europe, South and Central America, and has been with other local restaurants for the last three years. During his thirty-eight-year career, he has worked in places such as Exchange St. Bistro, Harvest Restaurant, Legal Seafood and Walden Grill.

“We are now open seven days a week, our catering menu is ready, and we have the private room for small groups as well as the full bar, the dining room, the Cigar Lounge on the patio, and more patio seating on the side.”

The description of his vision is a, “Creative American Bistro with an International Twist”. There is a tapas menu with offerings that range from items such as calamari, bruschetta, and chicken wings. Salads using as much local produce as possible and homemade dressings are alongside burgers for lunch. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely lunch though, there are plenty of choices. Innovative chicken dishes, steaks, seafood, and pasta are available for dinner with two “Dinner for Two” options that include Valencian Seafood Paella. Your sweet tooth will be easily satisfied, although if you order the bread pudding you should plan to share it.

“We can take care of patrons who are looking for a pre-dinner show if they are going to the Seminole Theatre, and we’re open for after,” Paniagua said and waved toward the dining room with antique furnishing touches. “It’s a great room to relax in. I’ve worked in many different restaurants and I chose this place because I know it can be special for our communities.”

The City Hall Bistro and Martini is at 5 S. Flagler, Homestead on the corner of Flagler Ave and E. Mowry Street. (It is indeed near Homestead City Hall.) You can view the full menu at or follow them on Facebook.

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