10 Million Dollar Deal Brings El Churrasco to America


El Churrasco Steakhouse is coming to South Florida, courtesy of a California-based commercial investment firm.

Black Lion Investment Group is behind the venture, and it will be Argentinian cattle barons the Gil family’s first restaurant in the USA. The lucrative deal includes a 14,000-square-foot property located at 801 Brickell Bay Drive—a restaurant space leased to Rodeo Angus LLC, and a vacant 2,400-square-foot space. While the adjacent empty space is currently zoned for offices, the investment company has considered other options for its use including: a cigar bar, a boating-oriented tenant, or a nightclub.

The Brickell waterfront property was purchased from the International Finance Bank of Miami, and with the multi-year lease attached, was a prime buy-in for Black Lion CEO Robert Rivani and his firm. So, how did this deal come about?

Citing Miami-Dade County court records, these viable spaces were taken by the commercial bank during foreclosure proceedings against the previous owners. After purchasing the restaurant space at the Four Ambassadors condominium for a whopping $10.2 million, it wasn’t long before Black Lion—who has a history with steakhouse investments—signed on to introduce El Churrasco’s culinary way of doing things to the US. Other restaurants Black Lion has been associated with include Brazilian steakhouses Porcao, and its replacement Brasileiro, both of which were closed due to the economic crisis in the late 2000s.

Black Lion’s two-part deal was negotiated by Sperry Van Ness’ Robert Zinzell and Matthew Rotolante. In a brief news release, Managing Director Rotolante explained a few reasons for the purchase and lease, “New residents are pouring into Brickell, and people need to eat,” he said, adding, “For years, Brickell was dead at night, because everyone drives home to the suburbs. People are tired of the long commutes and want to live closer to work. And most of the international buyers scooping up the condos live in cities, so they want that lifestyle here.”



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