Former ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Contestant to Open Lebanese Restaurant in Boca Raton

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“Hell’s Kitchen” alum Ralph Pagano is the latest tenant coming to Pebb Enterprises’ Restaurant Row development in Boca Raton, Fla.

Pagano’s Yes Hospitality inked a 5,300-square-foot, 15-year lease with plans to open a Lebanese-inspired concept called Shabibi. The name combines the Hebrew word “shalom” (peace) with the Arabic term “habibi” (darling).

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The location, set to open toward the end of 2023 or early 2024, will feature 100 seats inside, and a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio with 70 seats. 

Trinity Commercial Group’s Chris Barney and Sam Dalton represented the tenant, while Tom Prakas of Prakas & Co. represented the landlord.

A Boca Raton resident, Pagano first made a name for himself by becoming the runner-up in the first season of “Hell’s Kitchen,” a popular cooking competition and television show hosted by Gordon Ramsay. Following his appearance on the show, Pagano went on to open Naked Taco, a local chain, and host his own television show, “Pressure Cook.”

Shabibi brings the 22,500-square-foot Restaurant Row development to full occupancy, according to Pebb. Other tenants include Fiolina Pasta House, helmed by Michelin-starred chef Fabio Trabocchi, as well as Pubbelly Sushi and El Camino, mid-market restaurant chains in South Florida. 

The retail development, adjacent to Simon PropertiesTown Center at Boca Raton indoor mall, is set to be delivered next summer. Pebb, based in Boca Raton, bought the 2-acre vacant parcel for $2.35 million from CP Group last year.

Julia Echikson can be reached at jechikson@commercialobserver.com