When Alfredo Patino opened Bin No. 18 (1800 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-235-7575) on the boundary between downtown Miami and Edgewater in late 2006, nightfall was a warning sign. "It was prostitutes and crackheads," he says. But the condo buildings now towering over Biscayne Boulevard were already approved. The writing was on the wall. Fast-forward nine years, and the quaint Italian spot is still going strong.
Patino, now 42, got a similar feeling when he moved from downtown to an apartment farther north. "I drove 79th Street almost every day and realized that besides a few gems, there was nothing."
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So in mid-2014, he opened the modest Tap 79 (1071 NE 79th St., Miami; 305-381-0946), replete with beer culled from beloved local breweries and a sophisticated, booze-friendly bar menu that ranges from clams and spicy chorizo ($12) to a lamb burger with charred onions, feta cheese, and watercress ($13).
Then, this past October, he opened
Still, Patino says the place in only a few months has become a neighborhood favorite. Along with Tap 79, it has given him the confidence to embark on a fourth venture, which will open sometime next year. "I can't tell you much," he says, "but it will speak French."