Tobacco Road Closing, Becoming Bar Aboard Norwegian Cruise Ship in 2015
Photo by Marta Xochilt Perez
Only three days till Tobacco Road closes.
But today, a news conference was held at the almost-102-year-old club to reaffirm that "Miami's oldest bar will live on."
As reported by Crossfade seven months ago, the Road's staff, led by General Manager Joel Rivera, plans to raise money and move to 69 SW Seventh St. (Donate to the relocation campaign via kickstarter.com/profile/TobaccoRoad.)
However, the real news from this afternoon's media event: Tobacco Road has brokered a deal for a bar on a new Norwegian cruise ship, the Escape, debuting in November 2015.
Tobacco Road owner Patrick Gleber (center), Cocktail Collection mixologist Leo Holtzman (left), and Road General Manager Joel Rivera.
Marta Xochilt Perez
There won't be any live music. And there won't be any food, not even the Road's famous burgers. But there will be an exact reproduction of the neon sign.
"The sign is iconic," says Norwegian entertainment director Simon Murray. "That's going there, for sure."
Other Tobacco Road-style artifacts, like memorabilia and photographs, are going to decorate the cruise ship's sipping station too.
"We'll also include some of the iconic artwork that you'll find here to give the feel of what this place is like," Murray explains. "There's been Al Capone's private dining room, the Prohibition years, and all those things. We're going to tie all those great period pieces in with the bar to tell a story of Miami and Tobacco Road.
"We really want to preserve the history of Tobacco Road, because it's such a great part of Miami," he adds. "And Escape will be a part of Miami as well."
Marta Xochilt Perez
As for the drink menu... well, it won't be bottled beer, cheap draft, and hard liquor.
"We're gonna have cocktails from the Cocktail Collection," Murray explains, referring to Tobacco Road's recently renovated second-floor cabaret. "So there will be custom cocktails that'll be delicious."
In other words, Norwegian Escape cruisers can expect fancy concoctions similar to the drinks currently being served upstairs at the Road, like the Chile Mule (vodka, ginger, serrano), Espresso Expression (infused vodka, espresso, Bailey's), Hemingway Daquiri (rum, lime, grapefruit), Mint^2 Mojito (rum, mint, lime), and the Smoke Fashion (bourbon, bitters, smoke).
"The servers on the ship will also be working with mixologist Leo Holtzman from Cocktail Collection on the crafting of new cocktails, as well as some surprises that we'll be bringing to the bar."
As they say... when a Miami landmark gets bulldozed, it becomes a replica bar aboard a cruise ship.
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