June 05, 2017

Miami’s first full-service restaurant made out of modified shipping containers spotlights urban design innovation in The Magic City

Ken Lyon, a trailblazing culinary entrepreneur, restaurateur and caterer for 40 years, is now launching one of the country’s first-ever full-service restaurants built entirely out of modified shipping containers --CHARCOAL Garden Bar + Grill-- at the innovative food and culture hub, The Wynwood Yard.

CHARCOAL will be the first full-service restaurant at The Yard and will offer a warm, welcoming environment with its simple, but elegantly prepared, “analog” menu, which rotates twice per season. Florida-family-farm-raised meats, including pork, lamb and chicken, will be fired up on a Josper grill using only real charcoal, which results in a burst of fully developed flavors. A newly-expanded urban garden adjacent to CHARCOAL will provide herbs and vegetables for the vibrant menu that also will include appetizers like garnet dandelion served with Andean red quinoa, farm egg and toasted pecans, in addition to a selection of seasonal charcoal-blistered vegetables. To pair with CHARCOAL’s grilled vegetables, meats and seafood, guests choose a condiment from a punch card featuring an impressive selection of 10 globally-inspired sauces like French tarragon-gribiche sauce or Oaxacan roasted tomatillo.

“I’ve had this fascination with the Josper grill and the ancient technique of cooking over charcoal,” says Lyon. “At CHARCOAL, we want to dial things back and provide a comfortable space where family, friends and neighbors can gather and enjoy a simple but elegant meal that shifts their attention away from overly complicated menus and allows them to focus on great conversation and warm hospitality.”

Complementing its analog menu, diners can select from rare large-format craft beers served in growlers or thoughtfully chosen French and Italian wines on tap. CHARCOAL also offers an abbreviated estate-bottled wine list with rosé, Prosecco and Champagne by the glass, along with a craft cocktail menu.

Located at The Wynwood Yard, an outdoor venue that does not allow permanent structures, Ken was compelled to think outside of the box in terms of creating a full-service restaurant in the space. Modified shipping containers provided a solution that not only complemented the message behind a simple, analog menu but also heightened it by applying the same sensitivity to simplicity and sustainability to the architecture of the restaurant itself. Following the premise behind lean urbanism, an approach to architecture that is based on a return to common sense and use of only the most essential resources to build structures, CHARCOAL is composed of a collection of various-sized containers -- for the kitchen and dishwashing areas, an enclosed and air-conditioned “conservatory,” a covered “porch” and a three-sided bar container - all of which surround an outdoor courtyard with additional seating and path to the large organic urban garden.

The partnership between Ken Lyon and Della Heiman, founder and CEO of The Wynwood Yard, has developed organically since they met in the summer of 2015, when Heiman asked Lyon to join her in the opening of the business, by building and operating the large, central bar at The Yard. This simple operation has grown steadily, and in the summer of 2016, they decided to add an additional lot to The Yard. Lyon assisted in the The Yard’s organic vegetable garden re-design to include a pergola down the center with room for a dining table for up to 60 people. And it is in the north half of this lot, with an entrance from 29th street, that Lyon chose the location for his new restaurant, CHARCOAL Garden Bar + Grill.

Reservations can already be made through


The Wynwood Yard

at 82 NW 29th Street

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