New York's Harry's Bar & Restaurant Opens in West Palm Beach
A Financial District icon serves its dry-aged steaks and martinis in South Florida
Since 1972, Harry’s Bar & Restaurant has become one of New York’s most iconic restaurants and a favorite watering hole for captains of industry. With Manhattan’s financial district undergoing a residential renaissance, Harry’s has transformed from a haven for a three-martini business lunch to a friendly place to meet friends for a meal.
Now, Harry’s is expanding with a location in West Palm Beach. Peter Poulakakos, son of Harry’s founder Harry Poulakakos, and partner Frank Casano researched locations in South Florida for a long time before they decided on the current Rosemary Square location.
The restaurant, located at the base of the 360 Rosemary office building, will be reminiscent of the iconic Financial District restaurant, with a touch of Palm Beach style. The kitchen, helmed by executive chef Joseph Mallol, offers classic Harry’s dishes like beef Wellington, 28-day in-house dry-aged steaks, and house-made smoked Canadian bacon. For those who like their dinner with a side of showmanship, Harry’s West Palm Beach serves Caesar salad and steak tartare made tableside.
Peter Poulakakos tells Broken Palate that when more and more residential buildings popped up in Lower Manhattan, Harry’s transformed as well. “We wanted to make it hip and cool for the young, but not alienate people who have loved it for years. We remain a fixture in Downtown Manhattan but with a different look and a slightly different feel.”
The restaurateur sees the same transformation happening in West Palm Beach. “There are many apartment buildings and a whole island of people next door. We saw this commercial expansion and office expansion and it felt like Manhattan in the 2000s.”
Poulakakos also said the choice to open in West Palm Beach rather than Miami was a “no brainer”, reiterating that West Palm Beach felt closer to Lower Manhattan’s vibes than the flash of Miami. He cites another New York-based restaurant group as an example. “I could see how Major Food Group would be in Miami. They’re major and they do an amazing job. Miami has the number of people to make their businesses thrive.”
West Palm Beach felt more like home, though. “This is a vibrant community. I like this pocket. It’s right for us. It feels like what we do in New York. I feel like West Palm Beach is going to explode in the next three to five years.”
Poulakakos feels Harry’s is a great addition to the West Palm Beach community. “I think the restaurant has the luxe feel and the energy that the neighborhood wants and needs. I think people will be really happy to have us as a drinking and dining option.”
The restaurateur adds that Harry’s West Palm Beach offers some of the history and timelessness of the original New York location. “I think people will embrace that. I think you’re going to feel it.”
That being said, Poulakakos says that Harry’s will not just be another New York transplant moving into South Florida. Rather, its goal is to embrace the community and truly be a part of it. “Every good restaurant should respect the community they’re opening in.”