It may seem odd that Kevin Danilo, at the age of 28, has acquired the kind of in-depth knowledge typically reserved for industry vets. However, taking into account that he started at the age of 13 and has now successfully launched Batch Gastropub in Miami’s growing Brickell financial district, Danilo is poised to make an impact in South Florida.
What began as a side job washing dishes turned into a passion, with Batch Gastropub being only one of the many ambitious projects Danilo has up his sleeve.
Opening its doors in December 2013, Batch Gastropub is a restaurant that aims to make great fine dining tastes approachable.
In 2012, Danilo and partners first hatched the idea for a spot in Brickell that had a laid-back, neighborhood bar feel with better than average bar food. Their search began with a rocky start, as the area had begun to feel the market heat up. Leases for new spaces came tied with ruthless lease agreements, or prices that were way out of their budget. Finally, they found the raw space that would become the current location and began to build.
“The whole process was humbling to say the least,” Danilo said. “I learned that above all else, adaptability is the key to success. I spent a huge majority of my time learning and doing what I had never done. I learned more in my year of construction and opening preparation than I did in my whole life.”
Batch Gastropub as it stands can be seen one of two ways: a fun, inviting restaurant with cocktails that can’t be found elsewhere, or a bar with delectable food, minus the pretentious attitude found in other Miami spots. The menu features classic dishes reinvented,such as the Mac Attack, a mac and cheese dish featuring gnocchi and aged gruyere cheese. Other bar staples have a distinct twist, including the Duck Confit Nachos and Chili Glazed Wings.
Focusing on locally sourced food, the team at Batch Gastropub hopes to work with and support other small businesses and purveyors in South Florida. Paired with the local tastes on the rotating menu are the specialty cocktails and 14 beer taps, featuring craft beer almost exclusively.
Apart from a fully stocked bar, the restaurant also features a tap system located directly on the table, featuring signature cocktails and beers, a concept unique to the Miami area.
The cocktails, including the pecan infused Jameson, can be traced back to Danilo’s experience as a bartender in the New York City area. His business sense can be tied to his education, as Danilo studied at Indiana University, graduating in three and a half years from the Hutton Honors College and Kelley School of Business, with dual degrees in finance and entrepreneurship, plus minors in history and psychology.
“Opening a successful restaurant has been my dream since I was a kid. Everyone would mock me and say ‘that’s what everyone says’ but for me I knew I was going to do it or die trying,” Danilo said. “Every time I visited a new place I would write down what I saw and what worked and what didn’t. I took all the lessons I learned from working at different establishments and all of my favorite elements from all of the restaurants and bars I visited when designing the Batch concept.”
Apart from the laid back, everyoneknows- your-name feel of the place, Batch stands out as one of the only owner-operated restaurants in a sea of franchises that dot the Brickell area. Danilo eventually plans to finalize the formula for Batch Gastropub, then expand while staying true to the original concept.
“Ideally Batch becomes a concept that is able to grow while retaining the same feel it has now. Our success has been based on hard work, customer service and passion; we want to make sure those principals are the core of our growth model,” Danilo said.
Batch Gastropub is located at 30 SW 12 St. Reservations can be made online at www.batchmiami.com.