How does one transition from criminal law to fish? Ask Rebecca Nachlas Franks.
The Maryland native attended University of Miami law school after earning her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. She worked for the Miami-Dade public defender’s office for several years before switching to criminal defense in a private practice. Today, Nachlas Franks maintains her own small firm in North Miami, focused primarily on personal-injury law.
Nachlas Franks, 47, met her husband, Melvyn Franks, in 1996, and they were married the following year. The couple, who have had a home in Islamorada since 2002, have three children: Spencer, 26 (from Frank’s first marriage), Sacha, 14, and Stephen, 12.
Originally from London, Melvyn, 56, previously worked as a jeweler. When the economy declined, however, he sought a new business.
“My husband realized there were few — if any — fresh seafood establishments in the neighborhood. He thought it would be the perfect niche for us,” recalls Nachlas Franks.
They opened their “new baby,” Fish Fish Restaurant Bar and Market at 13488 Biscayne Blvd. in North Miami, on Christmas Eve in 2012.
“Our motto is Fish Done Right,” says Nachlas Franks. “We provide a homey atmosphere. Customers are happy when they get here.”
The market offers a variety of fresh, wild-caught, local seafood daily. The restaurant prepares a wide range of seafood dishes, plus grass-fed meats and pasta. Top sellers include whole fried fish (hogfish or snapper), fire-roasted clams and grilled red shrimp.
Executive chef is Oscar Quezada (previously executive chef at Lazy Days in Islamorada); general manager is Miami Beach resident Cindy Hill; Caron Cole (formerly with Epicure Market) oversees marketing and catering on a freelance basis.
Fish Fish’s market is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The restaurant serves lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. and is offering several Miami Spice specials throughout August and September.
Does Nachlas Franks, who commutes from Islamorada to North Miami several times a week, prefer law or fish?
“Trial is intense. There are different pressures. I think it’s more fun in the restaurant,” she admits.
For reservations or more information, call 786-732-3124 or visit www.fishfishmiami.com.
HEAT’S ON ... CANVAS
Vanessa Vinas moved to Miami Beach two years ago and began working as a bartender at The Clevelander Hotel in South Beach (where she still works).
Originally from Mexico City, Vinas, 26, grew up in Atlanta.
“In Atlanta, basketball wasn’t that popular. It was more about football. When I moved here, the Heat was on a winning streak,” said Vinas, who earned a degree in political science and communications from the University of Georgia.
Although she has attended only one Heat game (a 2011-12 season home game), Vinas wanted to pay tribute to the team with a painting.
It was just her third try. The first was a 36-inch-by-48-inch oil painting of car-racing (a Christmas gift for an ex-boyfriend). The second: a 2010 commissioned portrait of Kynan Forney, a former Atlanta Falcons football player.
“I read a book about painting oil on canvas,” Vinas explains of how she learned the craft.
For the Heat piece, Vinas decided to use acrylic on canvas (it dries faster) — and to go big.
“It’s very Miami-like and colorful,” she says of the 48-inch-by-72-inch work, which took four months to complete. The piece, entitled Synergism, features the Heat’s “Big Three”: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Vinas hopes to donate the painting to the AmericanAirlines Arena and have it displayed there. If there are any profits to be made, she says she’ll “donate them to a charity that helps kids get involved in basketball.”
To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOCKS OF LOVE
Sean Donaldson Hair will host a “Locks of Love” fundraiser on Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 6-8:30 p.m. at the salon, 1674 Meridian Ave. in Miami Beach.
The event will include a pop-up store by Consign of the Times (gently-used designer clothing and accessories), as well as music, food, wine and a raffle for a Chanel scarf.
During the evening, three generous women will have their long hair shorn into ultra-stylish short cuts by salon owner/creative director Sean Donaldson and staff members Keith Ayotte, Nikki Lynch and Jahzel Montano. The cut locks will be donated to Locks of Love, a nonprofit group that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada who are suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.
“This cause is near and dear to my heart because I know what great hair can do to one’s self-confidence. These kids are the most deserving of all,” Donaldson said.
General admission is $15; VIP $25 (cash or check), including a mini-manicure or hair styling (available on a first-come, first-serve basis). All proceeds will benefit Locks of Love.
Space is limited. To RSVP, email email@example.com. For details, call 305-397-8460.