Restaurant or nightclub? Marino’s owner wants Cocoa restaurant to be known for its food


COCOA, FLA. – Marino Biondini desires folks to visit Marino’s, his Cocoa Village cafe that opened in January, for its very good Italian foods and helpful atmosphere.

Chef Joel Lyons has created a menu of Italian favorites, with scratch-designed sauces and contemporary pasta. Craft cocktails, beer and wine are served in the 1900s lender building, which is casually classy and welcoming with its soaring ceilings and next-floor gallery, in accordance to News 6 spouse Florida Right now.

What Biondini does not want is for what occurred in the early early morning several hours of March 12 to shape prospective diners’ view of the restaurant.


Late night time on Fridays and Saturdays, Marino’s transitions into El Secreto, a nightclub.


In mid-March, a fight commenced in the club. Biondini mentioned his security crew pushed those people involved outside the house and known as Cocoa law enforcement. The scuffle continued in a nearby parking ton. Pictures have been fired. A 24-year-outdated person was hurt and a 25-calendar year-old gentleman was arrested.

Biondini reported he does not want to entice troublemakers. He has a four-man or woman security group viewing over the crowd, and is thinking about applying a costume code and metal detectors as a way to discourage foreseeable future troubles.

The club provides in people today, primarily in their 20s and early 30s, for dancing.

“We have a younger crowd who want to occur have a excellent time,” he stated.


The nightclub pays the expenditures though the cafe receives its footing, Biondini said, and it’s the cafe he wishes to market.

“To me, this is my lifetime,” Biondini mentioned. “If this doesn’t work, I have to start out above.”

This is Biondini’s 3rd try at generating a cafe function in a place on Harrison Avenue that has been dwelling to a athletics bar, a Korean barbecue cafe and a great-dining establishment.

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He opened El Bodegon, a white-tablecloth eatery serving Spanish and Basque food, in 2017, obtaining owned a cafe by the similar name for 6 a long time in Winter Park. Biondini said he obtained a following of men and women who enjoyed the paella and tapas this sort of as coctel de camarones con salsa de queso (shrimp served with savory queso) and empanada.


El Bodegon fell victim to COVID-19, but Biondini was not deterred. In August 2020, he helped open Tapa n Tacos, a much more everyday cafe and bar. He retained some of the Spanish favorites but added craft cocktails and a lot less high priced Mexican dishes to the menu.

El Secreto, the weekend nightclub, opened at the identical time.

Biondini had a falling out with a small business associate and remaining Tapa n Tacos in September 2021. He returned to the assets in January and rebranded the restaurant as Marino’s.

He had been the encounter of El Bodegon and Tapa n Tacos, greeting visitors in the dining home and typically getting and delivering orders. Buddies advised him: “Put your identify on it so they know it’s you.”

Marino’s has taken on a distinctly Italian taste, thanks to Lyons, who used time at Genna’s Pizza and Amici’s in Melbourne.


“Joel designed a menu which is small, fresh and straightforward,” Biondini mentioned. “He comes out and talks to the friends, cooks something just for them.”

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“This is suitable up my alley,” Lyons explained. “I’ve been cooking Italian food for 35 a long time.”

A handful of of the Spanish favorites continue being, such as the shrimp with queso and pulpo con chorizo and smoked octopus with chorizo and potatoes. Paella will be provided at times as a special.


Biondini also claimed he is continuing to make some of the cocktails he figured out from Ben Jewel, who assisted open up Tapa n Tacos.

“We’ll have clean margaritas on tap,” Biondini explained. “Come for the foods, continue to be for the beverages.”

Wanda Shultz of Cocoa reported she has supported Biondini because he arrived to the region. He’s an ambitious younger gentleman, she reported, and she’s rooting for him to succeed. She not too long ago frequented Marino’s and was pleased with the working experience.

“The food stuff was astounding, drinks had been great,” she explained. “His new chef is on stage.”

Biondini is decided to make Marino’s do the job. When he opened El Bodegon, it was a household organization, with his mother, his wife and his sister-in-law. His mom passed absent, his brother and sister-in-law moved to St. Augustine. Then COVID hit.

“I was forced to step again and enable somebody else make the selections,” he stated.

Now he’s concentrating on preparing new foodstuff and new cocktails, and coaching a gro
up that will just take great treatment of shoppers. The cafe is open five times a 7 days for evening meal only, which implies he and the personnel get two days off and a chance at a standard existence.


“I experience like I could not stroll absent from this,” he said. “I’m not throwing in the towel.”

Marino’s is at 114 Harrison St., Cocoa Village. Several hours are 4-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The nightclub is open up right up until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.


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