Native Realty Brings Food Network Star Nikol Zarbalas’ Newest Concept to Fort Lauderdale

Native Realty, the pioneering Fort Lauderdale-based commercial real estate firm led by Jaime Sturgis, brokered a lease that brings an exciting new concept from acclaimed chef and restaurateur Nikol Zarbalas to the city’s Gateway Shopping District. The Food Network star is opening a brand-new restaurant at the property, named The Food Republic – Chef Zarbalas’ elevated take on a northeast style diner with an evolving menu and “blue plate” specials.

Zarbalas, owner of Hellenic Republic in Coral Springs, leased 1,500 square feet at 1910 E. Sunrise Blvd. The 50-seat restaurant with outdoor seating at Gateway Shopping District will feature the cuisine that Guy Fieri lauded as “the best Greek food” he’s ever tasted in a 2023 “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” episode. In April 2024, Zarbalas competed in an episode of Fieri’s “Guy’s Grocery Games” show.

Native CEO Jaime Sturgis represented the landlord in the lease, while the firm’s Jeremiah and Sarah Adler represented the tenant.

A Coral Springs resident and mother of five, Zarbalas has operated Hellenic Republic since 2019. The restaurant is perhaps best known for its signature lamb burger and kataifi fried shrimp served over traxana (Greek grits).

For Native, attracting a prominent chef like Zarbalas underscores its long-term efforts overseeing the adaptive re-use and curation of Gateway Shopping District.

Click here to read more about this exciting transaction.

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