Grill at 1450 open in Melbourne, serving tapas from around the world
Sarno Road in Melbourne has a secret, but it won’t keep it for long.
Word’s getting out about The Grill at 1450.
The restaurant is tucked inside Grand Manor, a huge, but unassuming, building across from the Brevard County Service Complex.
For almost three years, Anthony Elias and his staff at Grand Manor have been staging dream weddings in a building that used to house the Space Coast Association of Realtors. The event space includes a walled garden for outdoor ceremonies, a bride’s suite with plenty of dressing tables, a groom’s suite with a pool table and a banquet room that seats 200.
And now it houses The Grill at 1450, a global kitchen.
The Grill is a stylish place, decorated with a vintage travel theme with globes, suitcases and vacation photos. It has a masculine feel, with lots of wood and stone, browns and tans. But it’s also airy and uncluttered, with plenty of sunlight streaming in.
The restaurant, which opened in mid-June, is just the latest of many food and entertainment businesses for Elias.
He got his start when he was just a kid.
“I’ve been cooking since I was 17 – 40 long years,” said the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts graduate.
His family did well in the restaurant and night club business in Miami. He moved north to Brevard to slow down. He loves horses, so he bought a horse farm in Cocoa.
He and his wife, Rosa, started Renaissance Catering in Cocoa, followed by a lunch cafe at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. In 2016, he bought the Realtors building.
The Association of Realtors opened the building in the mid-’80s. Elias catered events there for years, so he knew the building well. “I felt comfortable transitioning into it.”
He always planned to open a restaurant there. The idea was to serve tapas, traditional Spanish small plates. But he didn’t want to be limited to Spanish dishes.
That’s where the global kitchen comes into play. The Grill menu features dishes from around the world.
There’s a pork belly slider with kim chi slaw, plantains with pulled pork and guava barbecue sauce, poutine with flank steak.
He plans to add dishes from five more countries to the tapas menu this month.
His own family is a melting pot of cultures: Cuban mother and Lebanese father, Polish, Irish, Jewish and Italian uncles. Plus, Elias, now 57, was a bit of a wanderer in his 40s.
“All the places I traveled to are incorporated into the menu.”
In addition to food and cocktails, there’s entertainment. Jazz, comedy, salsa, karaoke.
“We want it to be a hip, cool place to come,” Elias said.
As for slowing down? That didn’t work out so well. Elias gets up early to take care of the horses. He works in the catering business in the morning, then arrives at The Grill at 1450 by 3 p.m., where he works until 11.
“For right now, I work those long hours,” he said. “But to be honest, when I’m here, I don’t feel like I’m working.
“I love my job,” he said. “When you cook food for people, they invite you into places no one else can go.”
He’s got a lot invested in the Grill’s success.
“This is my 401K,” he said. “I want to grow it slow, take it slow and build up a nice local clientele.”
He takes time to meet his customers. On a busy Friday night, he weaves through the tables saying hello and thanking guests for dining with him before making his way back to the kitchen.
He also values the community where he lives and wants to give back. He’s an annual participant in the Brevard Zoo’s major fall fundraiser, Jazzoo, and joins the fun in the Downtown Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.
“I try to do well by the community,” he said. “I feel if I give back to the community, the community will support me.”
Plus, there’s the added bonus of spending time with his daughter, Cynthia Elias Vega, who manages The Grill bar.
“She gets to let her creative juices run wild when it comes to cocktails,” he said.
Now that The Grill is open, the final piece of the Grand Manor puzzle is in the works: an auditorium, perfect for concerts and other performances. He wants the manor to be a place not just for weddings, but for parties and showers, business meetings, conferences, even dueling pianos.
Whether its catering an event for Vice President Pence at Cape Canaveral or chatting with customers at The Grill at 1450, Elias knows that a hands-on approach makes all the difference. He learned that at his mother’s knee. At 87, she still works at one of the family cabarets, showing up every night with perfect hair and makeup and wearing stilettos.
If you go
What: The Grill at 1450: A Global Kitchen
Where: 1450 Sarno Road, Melbourne, inside the Grand Manor
Info: 321-428-4503 or search on Facebook
Hours: Opens at 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday