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 operator Marino Biondini explained the right after-hours part of his institution is no for a longer time known as El Secreto. This tale was edited April 1, 2022, to mirror that.

Marino Biondini wishes folks to take a look at Marino’s, his Cocoa Village restaurant that opened in January, for its fantastic Italian foods and friendly environment.

Chef Joel Lyons has established a menu of Italian favorites, with scratch-built sauces and contemporary pasta. Craft cocktails, beer and wine are served in the 1900s financial institution creating, which is casually classy and welcoming with its soaring ceilings and next-flooring gallery.

What Biondini does not want is for what took place in the early morning hours of March 12 to form likely diners’ belief of the cafe.

Late night on Fridays and Saturdays, Marino’s stays open up till 2 a.m.

In mid-March, a struggle begun in the club. Biondini mentioned his safety team pushed individuals concerned outside the house and identified as Cocoa police. The scuffle continued in a close by parking ton. Shots have been fired. A 24-year-outdated gentleman was wounded and a 25-12 months-old person was arrested.

Much more: Guy billed with attempted murder soon after early-early morning capturing in Cocoa Village

Biondini claimed he doesn’t want to entice issues makers. He has a four-person safety workforce observing above the crowd, and is thinking of employing a dress code and metal detectors as a way to prevent future challenges.

The club delivers in men and women, typically in their 20s and early 30s, for dancing.

“We have a young group who want to come have a great time,” he said.

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 owner Marino Biondini hope diners will come check out the fresh Italian foodstuff at Marino’s in Cocoa Village.

The evening club pays the expenses though the cafe will get its footing, Biondini explained, and it really is the restaurant he desires to market.

“To me, this is my daily life,” Biondini explained. “If this does not perform, I have to commence around.”

This is Biondini’s 3rd try at making a restaurant operate in a space on Harrison Avenue that has been residence to a sporting activities bar, a Korean barbecue cafe and a fantastic-dining institution.

He opened El Bodegon, a white-tablecloth eatery serving Spanish and Basque food stuff, in 2017, having owned a restaurant by the identical identify for 6 several years in Wintertime Park. Biondini claimed he obtained a pursuing of men and women who savored the paella and tapas these kinds 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 wasn’t deterred. In August 2020, he aided open Tapa n Tacos, a more relaxed cafe and bar. He kept some of the Spanish favorites, but extra craft cocktails and much less highly-priced Mexican dishes to the menu.

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

Biondini had a falling out with a company companion and left Tapa n Tacos in September 2021. He returned to the home in January, and rebranded the cafe as Marino’s.

He experienced been the confront of El Bodegon and Tapa n Tacos, greeting guests in the eating room and often using and delivering orders. Close friends advised him: “Place your identify on it so they know it’s you.”

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

“Joel developed a menu that’s compact, fresh new and effortless,” Biondini claimed. “He comes out and talks to the company, cooks a little something just for them.”

“This is correct up my alley,” Lyons said. “I’ve been cooking Italian foodstuff for 35 yrs.”

A number of of the Spanish favorites keep on being, together with the shrimp with queso and pulpo conchorizo, smoked octopus with chorizo and potatoes. Paella will be made available sometimes as a exclusive.

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

“We’ll have contemporary margaritas on faucet,” Biondini reported. “Arrive for the food items, stay for the beverages.”

Wanda Shultz of Cocoa said she has supported Biondini considering that he came to the space. He’s an bold young male, she said, and she’s rooting for him to do well. She lately frequented Marino’s and was delighted with the knowledge.

“The food was astounding, beverages have been excellent,” she explained. “His new chef is on position.”

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

Chef Joel Lyons tends to make the sauces and meatballs refreshing, in-house, at Marino’s in Cocoa Village.

Biondini is identified to make Marino’s work. When he opened El Bodegon, it was a spouse and children business enterprise, with his mom, his spouse and his sister-in-law. His mother handed away, his brother and sister-in-law moved to St. Augustine. Then COVID strike.

“I was pressured to step back again and enable anyone else make the conclusions,” he claimed.

Now he is concentrating on preparing clean food items and fresh cocktails, and training a workforce that will choose fantastic treatment of clients. The restaurant is open 5 days a week for evening meal only, which implies he and the team get two days off and a chance at a typical life.

“I sense like I could not stroll absent from this,” he mentioned. “I’m 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 up right until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Suzy Fleming Leonard is a functions journalist with extra than a few decades of expertise. Access her at [email protected] Discover on Fb: @SuzyFlemingLeonard or on Instagram: @SuzyLeonard

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This post originally appeared on Florida Currently: Just after shooting, Marino’s in Cocoa is beefing up protection and menu


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