Michael Schwartz to open new Miami Design District café: Ella

Chef-restaurateur Michael Schwartz is adding to his Miami empire with Ella, a Design District café set to open April 1 at 140 NE 39th St., a few steps south of Schwartz’s flagship, Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. 

The restaurant is named for Schwartz’s eldest daughter, an 18-year-old senior at Ransom Everglades who is helping with design and creative aspects.

“I am really into photography and have been interning at The Genuine Hospitality Group since last summer,” Ella Schwartz says. “When they decided to open the pop-up and design it this way, I was really excited because it very much reflects my personal aesthetic — light, breezy, white, simple, etc. We also decided to have one of the focuses be Polaroid pictures of palm trees, the beach, blue water, taken on my Polaroid camera, which I use all the time.”  

The plan for now is to have Ella run as a pop-up through summer, with no word on what may come of the space after then. 

Ella, which occupies Space 136 at the Design District’s Palm Court, will be open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and late-afternoon food and drink. An indoor counter will seat 10 people, with additional seating for about 40 people under umbrella-shaded tables outside. 

Menus will be available later this month. Interior features include artwork from Design District developer Craig Robins’ personal collection, a chalkboard menu wall, and terra cotta herb pots on each table.  

Parking is available via valet ($5) on 39th Street or in the Palm Court garage on 38th Street ($3 for first four hours). Follow Ella’s progress at and on Instagram.