Looks like the area just north of South Beach is becoming the new hot spot for dining and, more importantly, cocktails.
First there were pioneers like Broken Shaker at Freehand Miami Beach, who opened their permanent bar in December 2012, and Essensia at the Palms Hotel, where chef Julie Frans utilizes produce from the property's own garden in her farm-to-table cuisine.
Most recently, Wunderbar opened at the Circa 39 Hotel, featuring craft cocktails by Cricket Nelson, and the Thompson Miami Beach Hotel features Michelle Bernstein's Seagrape restaurant, 1930's House, and Crown Room, featuring cocktails designed by Julio Cabrera.
And, of course, the Miami Beach Edition (2901 Collins Ave.) features chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Matador Room, a signature farm-to-table restaurant, Matador Bar, and Market -- not to mention an ice skating rink.
Add to that, Tom Colicchio's Beachcraft, Sandbox, Sandbar, and Tom on Collins is set to open any day now, along with the newly reopened STK at the 1 Hotel & Homes at the very northern part of South Beach, and you've got an entirely new Miami Beach destination.
Now, there's one more addition to the roster. Marriott International has just announced its new AC Hotel Miami Beach is set to open April 2015 on the 2900 block of Collins Avenue. The modern hotel will feature 150 rooms, all with free WiFi, according to Hotel Chatter.
The AC Hotel will house AC Kitchen. Open daily for breakfast, the kitchen is "inspired by the design and comfort of a European home," and will offer sweet and savory tarts, freshly baked all-butter croissants, brewed iced coffee, and a selection of cured meats and cheeses.
What's intriguing is the AC Lounge, which will feature regional craft beers, with a large selection of local, Miami beers available, along with wines and unique crafted cocktails. There will also be a selection of small tapas-style plates. And the head bartender at AC Lounge, known as the AC Culturalist, will also serve as your personal, expert city guide, sharing insider tips and recommendations on the inner workings of Miami.
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Looks like we've got all the makings of a very upscale bar crawl in the works!