A new establishment has opened at the northern edge of Wynwood, and it's one that literally qualifies as more than meets the eye.
Conceived by co-creators Kim Wood, Coco Coig, and Victor Palacioslonga, the Mad Butcher marries a gourmet sandwich shop with a late-night, disco-themed, speakeasy-style cocktail bar and nightclub, accessible via a "secret" interior entrance.
"We wanted something that gave a nostalgic vibe, from the 1960s photo booth to the butcher shop elements, to give the space that feeling of being in an old-school deli," explains Coig, the Miami-based restaurateur behind Le Chick, also in Wynwood. "From there, we created the contrast of going from that clean, bright space to something dark and elegant."
By day, the subway-tiled deli offers patrons a chance to explore ten or so gourmet sandwiches in a fast-casual environment. If nighttime visitors wander past the bathrooms, they're treated to an entirely different atmosphere.
Those who venture through the black plastic butcher-style curtains will find themselves in a metal-walled room bathed in red light. A faux meat slab hangs at the center, and there's a walk-in cooler door at the far end. The secret entry opens into a cozy, disco-lit, 1970s-inspired hideaway, complete with orange velvet banquettes and a giant disco ball at its center. Called "The Club," it's open Wednesday through Saturday evenings.
But it all starts with the sandwiches.
"We wanted to journey into the world of gourmet sandwiches and began developing a menu to include some of the most popular sandwiches across the world," says Wood, who partnered with fusion cuisine pioneer Norman Van Aken on many of his restaurants. "Pretty much every culture has its own quintessential sandwich, as well as across the U.S. Our goal was to have one bite be perfect — every element has to hit."
Priced from $15 to $18, sandwiches include the "Reuben Brisket," made with 12-hour smoked brisket, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and mayo; a Tennessee fried chicken; a grilled pork tenderloin bánh mì; a cubano; and the "Español," made with Cinco Jotas jamón iberico, Manchego cheese, dried tomatoes, and garlic-infused olive oil.
Aside from nightly high-energy dancing accompanied by a curated music program, guests can expect an elevated cocktail menu from beverage director Andi Cruzatti. Specialty cocktails include "La Vie en Rose" (rose-infused vodka, framboise raspberry beer reduction, lime, and bitters), the "Catch Me If You Can" (gin, simple syrup, lime, plum liqueur, and torched rosemary), and "That's Amore" (chocolate rum, tequila, Fernet Branca liqueur, and Panther nitro espresso coffee).
"Collectively, we've had the privilege to watch Miami's evolution, and that's part of the reason we knew what was missing," Wood sums up.
The Mad Butcher. 2300 NW Second Ave., Miami; madbutcher.com. Sunday through Tuesday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.