RICHARD BRANSON ENTERS THE FOOD HALL GAME IN MIAMI

By Clarissa Buch for Food & Wine

 

Branson partnered with Brightline, South Florida’s privately owned express rail service, to open Central Fare, the massive new food hall to Virgin Group’s repertoire.

 

Richard Branson’s favorite meal is a lot simpler than you might expect. Though the billionaire business magnate is the 478th richest person alive, Branson would much rather indulge in a steaming roast than caviar or white truffles.

“Well, I’m British, so it has to be a roast,” Branson says, with a smile, “with roast potatoes, lots of gravy, and Brussels sprouts. I won’t do roast beef anymore though. I’ve decided that eating beef is going to destroy the rainforest.”

Ask Branson what he would eat inside Central Fare, the new food hall inside the recently unveiled Virgin MiamiCentral Station in downtown Miami, and his answer isn’t as clear-cut.

“You have start with some of the wine at the main bar,” Branson says, sitting inside the soon-to-open food hall. “That’s where everyone must go first. But, otherwise, it’s a bit like having 18 children; you can’t recommend one over the other.”

In late 2018, Branson partnered with Brightline, South Florida’s privately owned express rail service, giving Virgin Group an undisclosed stake in the Florida rail and jumpstarting the lengthy rebranding process from Brightline to Virgin Trains USA. The children Branson is referring to are Central Fare’s food tenants, which include a charming French bakery, a 10,000-square-foot bistro, and an outpost of Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem’s 800 Degrees Woodfired Kitchen. Debuting in mid-April, Branson says Central Fare is poised to become a destination for greater Miami.