Chef Thomas Keller will open a restaurant in the former Ta-boo space along Worth Avenue in Palm Beach.
Keller will operate his third South Florida eatery in 7,000 square feet at 221 Worth Avenue, according to broker Zachary Baraf of The Stanwich Group.
Aspen, Colorado-based M Development, through an affiliate, owns the one-story building. It paid $23.8 million for it in 2021, records show. The sand-colored property, completed in 1929, is a block west from the beach. It was the longtime home of Ta-boo, which recently closed.
Greenleaf & Crosby, a jewelry and watch store in Palm Beach, leased the 221 Worth building, and signed an agreement with Keller to operate the restaurant, Win Betteridge, CEO of Greenleaf, told The Real Deal.
“We have a financial agreement behind it of course,” Betteridge said, though he declined to disclose the terms. “He is a chef … who we think is the best chef in the world today. We approached him with this opportunity and we found there is a really great story.”
Originally from California, 67-year-old Keller moved to Palm Beach when he was young, and as a teenager worked as a dishwasher at the Palm Beach Yacht Club in downtown West Palm Beach, eventually becoming a cook. Today known for his French cuisine, Keller’s restaurants are throughout California, as well as in Nevada, New York and South Florida.
In Surfside, he operates The Surf Club Restaurant known for its Continental cuisine at 9011 Collins Avenue. Keller also is expected to open French bistro Bouchon at the La Palma building at 2101 Galiano Street in Coral Gables, according to the Miami New Times.
Details regarding the type of restaurant Keller plans in Palm Beach and the expected opening date are unknown. His media representative declined to comment, aside from confirming that the chef took over the Ta-boo space.
After opening in Palm Beach in 1941, Ta-boo has hosted celebrities such as Rod Stewart and Frank Sinatra.
In March, M Development’s affiliate pushed to evict the restaurant over alleged non-payment of rent. Ta-boo fought back in court, in part arguing that M Development’s entity doesn’t have the right to evict it because it already leased the building to another firm, namely Greenleaf & Crosby.
The property owner and Ta-boo reached an agreement, with the restaurant holding its farewell party on May 28, The Palm Beach Post reported.