Wayne Eldred, Owner and operator of Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill, Coral Gables
Why he’s Food 50: More than a restaurateur, he’s a globally minded, locally focused entrepreneur and community leader.
Wayne Eldred has done it all in the restaurant business, from washing dishes to flipping burgers to — three years ago — becoming a majority owner in one of Coral Gables’ busiest restaurants. At Tarpon Bend on Miracle Mile, Eldred greets customers by name, and he’s more than comfortable jumping onto the hot line during a busy service or special event. As a chef, Eldred’s repertoire includes the curries, jerks and vegetables he grew up with as the son of an engineer, living in England, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
As a community leader, Eldred has taken on responsibilities far outside his 80-plus-hour restaurant workweek. He serves on the board of Camillus House, he is chair of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, and he is a supporter of Canteen Cuisine, a Coconut Grove restaurant that trains underserved residents how to cook, serve and manage. Tarpon Bend may look like just another restaurant on Miracle Mile, but the person behind the operation has a story to tell, and he’s actively working to improve his city.
Where to find him: Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill, 65 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-444-3210