An upscale Southern Mediterranean restaurant is set to open in Palm Beach County early next year.

Ara, at 1406 Cypress Drive in Jupiter, will be a 3,760-square-foot restaurant that can hold approximately 125 patrons. It is owned and operated by Steven Fondu, a Jupiter-based restaurateur with bar and restaurant management experience.

Anna Woodman Interior Design announced it has been hired as the project's designer.

Fondu hired Kayla Casale as Ara’s executive chef. Casale previously worked at The French Laundry, a three-Michelin-star restaurant under the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in California. She has also worked at the renowned Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill in Las Vegas.

“'Ara means family, and every guest will be treated as such,” Fondu said. “From the design of the space to the service and, of course, the menu, the guest experience is our top priority. We're creating a welcoming and comfortable environment where guests will be so well taken care of they won't want to leave.”

The restaurant will have a chef’s table for live viewing of cooking and a central bar with a bespoke ceiling feature.

Woodman, the firm’s president and principal interior designer, said she mixed woods and metals in the restaurant’s design after she learned the name Ara has multiple meanings. Several name dictionaries say the name Ara has Armenian and Arabic roots that mean “king” or “brings rain.”

“Designing a space that combines elements of both elegant royalty and the natural world has been an exciting challenge, and I can’t wait to see guests explore the space as they enjoy a night out,” she said. 

Anna Woodman Interior Design, established in Jupiter in 2003, also worked with popular Palm Beach County restaurants Stage Kitchen & Bar and Ela Curry Kitchen.

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