Before workers started pouring concrete on their restaurant floor, chef-owners Mike Hampton and Christy Samoy knew they wanted the homecoming of their beloved Fort Lauderdale bistro, Hot & Soul, to feel permanent.
So the husband-and-wife chefs signed a 15-year-lease on Feb. 10. That afternoon, they shared the news on Hot & Soul’s social-media accounts, announcing that their international comfort-food bistro — closed since March 2018 — will re-open this summer in Progresso Village, the neighborhood north of the rapidly growing art-foodie district Flagler Village.
“We can’t walk around unemployed forever and we’re ambitious and driven people,” Hampton says of reviving Hot & Soul. “So not owning a restaurant is off the table. The challenge to do it again was too intoxicating.”
Hot & Soul will occupy one of the ground-floor storefronts of the 11-story Six13 apartment complex at 613 NW Third Ave., which broke ground in April 2019 for an anticipated June debut. That complex, from developer Affiliated Development, will feature 5,000 square feet of retail space and 142 rental apartments near Sistrunk Boulevard.
Hampton and Samoy say the reincarnated Hot & Soul will fuse fan favorites (mushroom manchego toast, gnocchi with oxtail) with new dishes. The duo, now living in New Orleans, plan to move back to Fort Lauderdale in May.