Pontes, partner plan Terrazzo restaurant

Former City House chef to lead culinary charge

Local restaurateur Miranda Whitcomb Pontes plans to open an upscale restaurant in the Terrazzo tower in The Gulch early next year.

Prima will be housed in the Terrazzo retail space that fronts Division Street. Its culinary team will be led by chef Sal Avila, who has worked at City House and 360 Bistro, among others. Pontes and Avila are promising an "advanced wine program and a modern fine-dining menu that highlights locally-sourced produce and a variety of international flavors."

Pontes is partnering on Prima and her other in-the-works project, Josephine in 12South, with local health care consulting executive Jim Lewis (pictured on the right). The pair's holding company, Community Hospitality LLC, also now houses 12South's Burger Up location. Lewis, who is managing partner and CEO of Brentwood-based Cumberland Consulting Group, has in the past invested in various restaurant concepts.

“The menu will be simple, controlled, refined, and farmer-defined,” Avila said. “Our aim is to make the often-overlooked vegetable dishes the most important component on the plate. The entrees will be subtly crafted to complement the rustic vegetable sides. I want the farmers we are working with to get creative in growing whatever they like. Their creativity will ultimately drive my inspiration.”

Prima, which will represent Terrazzo's first restaurant, is the latest planned addition to the Gulch's dining scene. Earlier this year, Cincinnati-based Tavern Restaurant Group said it would take up a large part of the retail space in Pine Street Flats for its English-style The Pub. More recently, officials with Burger Republic and craft beer bar Hops & Crafts said they also plan to open Gulch locations. Last week, Peg Leg Porker opened in the fast-changing mixed-used district.