Cocktails & Spirits

The Anderson Opens Monday: Bar Lab Cocktails and an '80s Vibe

For weeks we've been teased with images of everything from kittens to '80s women. Now the Anderson officially opens this Monday, March 7.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Anderson opens at the former Magnum Lounge space (709 NE 79th St. Causeway, Miami), breathing new life into what is now the location of Miami's longest-running liquor license.  

The bar — renamed the Anderson in honor of Tennessee developer Hugh Anderson, who built the Venetian Causeway and was key in the development of Miami Shores — is a partnership between Bar Lab's Gabe Orta and Elad Zvi, who are cofounders of the project, and the Workshop's Jourdan Binder, who is creative director. The Vagabond's Alex Chang has been charged with creating the food menu.

According to Orta, the Anderson will combine the soul of Magnum's unique neighborhood vibe and Orta says the skillful bartending that has made the Broken Shaker one of the world's best bars. "We want this place to be a neighborhood bar. We want to keep what Magnum was all about and retain that energy and atmosphere. We just elevated it with better cocktails and better food."

The Anderson's creators have kept much of the elements from Magnum. Fans of the club will instantly recognize the red couches and mirrors. The bar's essential piano remains, but it's been moved to a place of honor on its own stage.
Changes include new flooring and animal-print wallpaper. Orta says the bar is inspired by an '80s Prince-circa-Purple Rain-meets-CBGB vibe. "It's the cool '80s of Grace Jones and David Bowie." The new team made sure they kept the original space intact. "We didn't break down any walls; we just changed the functionality of the space. When you come in, you'll say that it makes sense."
The bar's patio will take on a completely different feeling, with a Bahamian/Haitian island theme. The patio bar will serve rotating frozen cocktails and rum-forward drinks.

Speaking of cocktails, Orta and Zvi have channeled the '80s in their drink menu, which features Bar Lab's takes on forgotten classics. "We want to bring back old-school cocktails," Orta says. "We're making our own versions of a dirty martini, Sex on the Beach, and an apple martini." There will also be original cocktails specially created for the Anderson. "We're featuring whiskey and mezcal — a lot of spirits you want when you're eating a burger." A good example is the Mr. Anderson, made with Wild Turkey, mezcal, Cynar, and cardamom-infused Punt e Mes vermouth. Cocktails will be in the $10 range, and the bar will feature daily specials and a happy hour with $4 beers, $7 specialty drinks, and $10 beer-and-shot specials. 

Chef Chang has created the food menu. He will oversee the dishes at the Anderson while continuing to serve as executive chef at the Vagabond Restaurant & Bar. Orta says having a creative menu of quality food is essential. "We feel like every time we go to New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles, there's amazing bar food. We want to have elevated bar food that you want to eat all the time."

The Anderson will feature Thursday Magnum nights, when beloved entertainers from the Magnum will entertain. In addition, the bar will host live blues musicians and DJs. 

Orta is especially excited to bring Bar Lab's talents to what he says is a vibrant and emerging area. "The neighborhood is such an artery. Everyone comes through it to get to and from the Beach. We want to create a place that feels like Chicago or the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a place where you can do your thing, listen to amazing music, and have great food and drink with superfriendly service. It's a bar before everything."

The Anderson officially opens Monday, March 7, and will be open Sunday through Wednesday from 5 p.m. to midnight, Thursday from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. until the last guest leaves.