A once troubled Mexican space in SoBeCa gets an American makeover from a Brazilian dude – only in New York, kids. The gregarious Brazilian-about-town Dival Ramiro has opened AOA in the spot that formerly housed Pelea Mexicana, a magnificent space in that little section of town just south of Soho, on the north edge of Tribeca (you know, SoBeCa).
Ramiro tells us: “I’ve owned a Brazilian bar, called Boteco, in the space next door to the restaurant that was here previously [Pelea Mexicana]. Every Saturday we were doing these big feijoada parties sponsored by Cuca Fresca where all the Brazilians in New York were coming to drink caipirinhas, listen to live music and the party ended up spilling into the space next door. When I saw that Pelea was closing I thought, ‘Why don’t I just take over the whole thing?’"
Some Brazilian investors came on board, and the space next door is now AOA, which stands for Avenue of the Americas. The concept in the main space AOA will stick to tried and true American staples likes ribs, burgers, pizzas, 40 different beers, and a gazillion flat screen TVs showing sports. We assume much of it will focus on futebol, though we’re told there will be a healthy dose of American material like baseball, football and Nascar.
And of course, Brazilian supermodels and celebs spilling over from Boteco next door; Ramiro is a former model and ultra-scenster in his native Brasil.
AOA opens Tuesday, December 13 with a grand opening hosted by OK! magazine and Star vodka.
[Photo: Elimar Coelho]