The Palm Beach Town Council will get its first look Wednesday at the new restaurant superstar chef-restaurateur Thomas Keller plans to open in the spot once home to Worth Avenue’s iconic Ta-boo.  

Turns out, the new eatery will be called Ta-boo.  

That’s according to documents filed by property owners 219 Worth Avenue Holdings LLC, which detail the upcoming restaurant at 221 Worth Ave. as continuing the legacy of the eatery that had served the town for eight decades before its forced closure in May 2023.  

Council members during the restaurant’s upcoming Development Review meeting also will be voting on the special exceptions required to open a restaurant and a special exception tied to the expansion of the restaurant. 

The proposed project will seek to expand the restaurant’s first floor from 5,130 square feet to 6,253 square feet by incorporating part of the first floor from the neighboring 219 Worth Ave. property. The site plan also features renovations to the second floor of 219 Worth Ave., and the accompanying storage building in the lot just north of Ta-boo at 220 Peruvian Ave. 

In line with the developers' stated goal of preserving Ta-boo's legacy, the project plans to restore the murals added when Franklyn de Marco and his then-partner and businesswoman Nancy Sharigan renovated and reopened the restaurant in 1990. According to the letter of intent filed for the project, the artist who painted the iconic tropical murals will be part of the development.   

The new Ta-boo also plans to use materials and colors similar to those used in the old Ta-boo.   

“The Ta-boo restaurant is a landmark on Worth Avenue serving the town and residents since the 1940s,” stated the letter of intent. “It is deserving of preserving and restoring.”  

However, while the project positions itself as the return of a restaurant that had served the community for decades, council members may question whether the restaurant violates the Town's Comprehensive Plan as a potential regional destination because of Keller's international renown.

Also sure to draw the council's attention is the project's parking plan use of "the principle of equivalency," a policy that allows for less off-street parking than typically required of a site by taking into consideration the parking already offered on site.

During the council's Feb. 13 meeting, Council President Margaret Zeidman noted her displeasure with the policy, calling it "magical thinking" during a discussion with Miami-based traffic consultants The Corradino Group about future parking and traffic policies the council would want to adjust.

In Ta-boo's case, the 14 spaces provided on site were substracted from the 67 off-street parking spaces required under the zone code, for a total of 53 required off-street parking spaces, according to the parking analysis filed for the project. The analysis also states that the 53 off-street parking spaces will be accommodated through a valet parking agreement with the Apollo lot, just northwest of the restaurant.

Keller owns of a fleet of award-winning restaurants, including Napa Valley's The French Laundry and New York's Per Se, both three-Michelin star awardees.

The new Ta-boo serves as a sort of homecoming for the chef, who started his culinary journey as a dishwasher at the Palm Beach Yacht Club on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront, after graduating from Lake Worth High School. His mother Betty was the restaurant manager at the time.  

Retaining Ta-boo's name and aesthetic harks back to statements made by Keller during a December visit to his alma mater about the importance of continuing a restaurant's legacy. 

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